Mr. Marketing: Hiding in plain view

First let me state I’m not a jewelry expert, as I believe carats are something Bugs Bunny eats. When buying shiny baubles for my bride I rely on professional advice.

Still, Jennifer Garner’s ring caught my attention. She wears it on her middle finger in Capital One commercials, and it seems to bear an amazing resemblance to the company’s logo.

Rob Weinberg

Never noticed it? It’s not surprising, and I may be completely off-base here.

So please help me on this one. Search YouTube for “Jennifer Garner librarian” and watch this 30-second ad. If you freeze it at 15 seconds, you’ll see the ring on her left hand. The look on her face is also worth a chuckle.

Now Google “Capital One logo” and compare the sweeping red boomerang to Jennifer’s ring. My guess is you’ll agree.

Assuming I’m right, this subtle message reinforces the impression on a subconscious level. It seems akin to the hidden messaging found in the logos for FedEx, Wendy’s and numerous other large corporations.

The silver ring also probably cost significantly less than the $100,000 FedEx paid for its “Hidden Arrow” logo.

You, too, may be interested in using such subtle messaging for your organization. Before proceeding, check to see if your logo lends itself to becoming jewelry or hiding a message. If not, are you willing to change it?

Then consider whether your marketing efforts (in whatever form they take) can incorporate a hidden message and make your point without saying it.

Next, look at your audience to see if your share of their wallet will increase enough to justify the investment of time and money.

Lastly, examine your budget to determine whether you have the necessary resources to invest to make this all happen properly.

The concept of subliminal marketing is hardly new, and Vance Packard’s “Hidden Persuaders” (written in 1957) is an excellent place to learn more about it.

If, after doing all this research, you’re convinced that hiding your messaging in plain view is one of the tools you want to use for your customer outreach, plan to bring in some outside perspective.

Because despite your staff’s capabilities, freelance graphic designers and marketing strategists will undoubtedly see something in your communications efforts that you’re missing by being too close to it.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Improve your own marketing results at www.askmrmarketing.com.

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