Justin Oberman: 5 Fascinating Mid-1900s Advertising Tales That Shaped Modern Influencer Marketing

Advertising guru, Justin Oberman and I discuss the history of advertising and it’s impact on modern day influencer marketing and social media platforms. 1) What Betty Crocker’s “Add Two Eggs” Campaign can tell us about Alogrithms 2) How Interactive Marketing Saved The Grand Canyon 3) Pianos In Every Household? B2B Influencers impact on this strategy 4) A Ski Lift in the summertime Made Money Like This… 5) A Clever gas station Placement Hack And a lot more!

We explore lessons from advertising history and what they can tell us about today’s influencer marketing and social media strategies.

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Jessica Phillips (00:07.678)
guys welcome back to the social standard podcast today’s guest is Justin Overman he is the co-founder of generalist which is a very interesting kind of new age agency which I’m gonna let you explain because it’s past it’s over my head so and what’s up Justin welcome to the podcast thank you very much have you give us the give us the creative man’s pitch on generalists the creative pitch on generalists so hmm I guess

The first and foremost that what actually I’m told is people will not find as interesting as generalist is actually

agency that was well it was a consultancy founded by one of my favorite advertising people Howard Gossage in 1965 ish he had a an agency Freeman and Gossage they did very untraditional very untraditional type of advertising and one of his things was that he got tired of he was very honest with his clients and stuff and so sometimes he would tell clients like you don’t need advertising

And then they would just go off somewhere else because there’s always somebody else who would more than willing to tell them that Advertisements their problem so he got tired of losing money that way so he teamed up with this guy named Dr. Jerry Fagan Okay, who was a? Parctologist and also a ventriloquist oh And he was kind of like a dr. Phil or dr. Oz of his day He was also like a little bit of a celebrity doctor And created this consultancy called generalists ink

And there, Tom Wolfe, the author, who was friends with Gossage and Fagan and part of that, they called it the firehouse crew, because Gossage’s agency was in a firehouse. Tom Wolfe describes generalists as consultants for people who, consultants for people who,

Jessica Phillips (02:06.17)
are not getting what they need from specialists because what they need is the big picture. And their first client was a man who had, who owned ski lifts in Squaw Valley.

and he wanted to make money in the summertime. Interesting. So it’s an interesting problem. So you go to an ad agency with that, where do you go with that problem? They actually approached Howard originally to make ads and Howard said that ads are not gonna solve your problem, but what will? So Jerry and Howard got together and what they ended up doing was creating a, turning the ski lodge at the top of the mountain in the summer into a five-star restaurant with a celebrity chef that was also a discotheque at night. The only way to get up there was to spend $200

Jessica Phillips (02:51.133)
get, the only way to get up there was to spend $200 up a chairlift, which caused a lot of hoopla and a lot of interest. How interesting. Still exists, it’s called High Camp in Squaw Valley. Their second client was Marshall McLuhan, the mediumist message, they made him famous. And to come full circle, back,

My co-founder, one of my co-founders for Generalist is Andrew McLuhan, which is Marshall McLuhan’s grandson. Yeah, I was wondering if that was a connection. Yes, it is a connection. I know that you… We were chatting a little bit. Yeah. And so I thought it was kind of time to bring back that…

that idea of problem solving, of…

It’s not that we won’t do advertising. Sure. But it’s really just every time people come to us, we just take it back to first principles. So with that in mind, what do you think, I think one of the things we had talked about initially when we were discussing this podcast was how to influence influencers, right? And that’s sort of the B2B mantra, right? How do you get in and influence the people that are influencing your potential customers, your potential buyers? I mean, what would your,

Perspective on that. I know you sent me some stuff I won’t go into let you share some of that but like what is your perspective on? how to do that in the right way

Jessica Phillips (04:35.454)
And we can pull it back even. Yeah, yeah. It’s like, so I think the first thing, right, is to sort of establish what most people think. I think the word influencer. I was an influencer creator, and then there’s a difference between influencer and creator. And this is all the kind of nonsense that I sort of fight against as a generalist. Very recently, for example, I was asked what marketing is, the definition of marketing. And I’m like, it’s best not to try to answer that question. Because the.

then you’re gonna silo yourself. So when people think of creators or influencers, right, in traditional sense, they think of these people that have the shtick that they do online. Maybe it’s watching trains, like that one guy, or maybe whatever it is. A brand comes to them and pays them to somehow incorporate their brand into this.

the style of what they do. I kind of like, it’s kind of like a TV channel. Imagine if you bought the ads from the TV channel rather than from an agency that put them on the TV channel. And to a certain extent, it’s a really good approach. You’re gonna hear me quote Howard Gossage a lot. And Howard Gossage, one of his great lines is, um,

people don’t read ads, people read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad. And when you go really deep into that, what he’s kind of also saying is what that means when you create advertising for a medium, it means that you shouldn’t try to compete against the other ads. You should actually try to compete against the content that your ads are interrupting. And so the influencer approach, I think that that’s why it’s so successful on social. I agree. Right? Because you are…

And that’s why I like the low res stuff works so well. And that’s why. And then each obviously social media channel has its own. Style, right, so like, you know, tick tock, it’s you get a little bit more into storytelling, a little bit more into. Right. And so. That that’s the definition, right, of influencers and creators.

Jessica Phillips (06:49.314)
With B2B influencers, which is kind of a new term to me, you brought it up to me, and calling me a B2B influencer kinda like, shocked me a little bit. Because I wonder what that means, because what most B2B influencers, I think, do is they become influencers to share knowledge.

in order to attract people to them and say, well, I’m not going to do that myself. And so I just hired to do it, to do it. Right. And but it’s but it’s different. The business is actually my business. Right. It’s not like my business isn’t being an influencer. I don’t make money as an influencer. If you just look at, like, you know, the influencers in the B2B world, because it’s generally considered like a boring place. Sure. Yeah, true. So the people who kind of treat it like showmanship,

Stand out more like you know, you’re right. That’s like actually Gary V He’s he’s a really good showman on a lot of these things Branson. Yes musk is a showman That’s so true I hadn’t really considered so people they should not be afraid to get out of their shell in fact, especially in the B2B world because it

I remember when Ryan Reynolds first got on LinkedIn. Yeah. And he created a video, his first video. I don’t think it’s up anymore, but it was one of his first videos that he put up there. Or he was being interviewed by LinkedIn. Ah, OK, interesting. And.

he had he had his he had his glasses on and he sat and he talked very he didn’t talk like Ronald Reynolds. Oh he was a character. Because he felt he felt like he was and I think it’s because it’s like this is LinkedIn this is a serious platform. Oh it was intentional it wasn’t like that. I think that that’s what you know that’s what I felt like I had that feeling. Yeah. You know and I even like wrote a comment I’m like dude you could be yourself on here you know. Yeah. The only thing you really can’t do on here politics and people are talking about that on here but like.

Jessica Phillips (08:51.626)
like it people are a little entertaining, a little quirky. Yeah. Like people will like that. And since then, he’s you know, he’s expanded. He’s yeah. Let the quirkiness go on LinkedIn as well. And you know, I know that B2B is kind of they’ve had their playbook for a while in terms of what works. And I’m not saying come in and throw the playbook out the window. What I’m saying is, can we tweak the playbook to be more to be better suited for 2023 and beyond?

Right. So yeah, I just I wonder like most influencers and content creators. Like. You know, it seems like a lot of them after they after they’ve made it, they end up like going to sell a course. Yes. And how they did it. And I don’t know. Exactly. I don’t know if that’s part of the playbook or it’s like they’ve run dry and they need to make more money. You know. I think it’s just a it’s a symptom of the fact that everyone wants to be a creator. I.

Jessica Phillips (09:55.166)
But I also wonder if it’s kind of like, you know, one of the things we talk about in general thinking is like post-rational thinking. So it’s like. Post-rational thinking? Like yeah, so you come up with an idea that from a general perspective. Sure. You know, like the.

the ski lodge at the top of the mountain. Seems obvious after the fact. Yeah, totally. And you can definitely work back the logic of how you got there, but you really can’t. And so I think, I wonder if a lot of creators and influencers like…

If that’s the same story. I think that’s a realistically. I think that’s a story for anyone who’s had success. Yeah. You’re successful now. So you can look back and say, oh, what’s it saying? Hindsight’s 2020? Yeah. But you can say that this is how you got there. But the reality is that someone else could take that exact same strategy and maybe not get to your place. Because there’s always a little bit of magic. And it’s hard to know. And that’s the thing. The little bit of magic is you just see a lot of these things and a lot of these courses. I’ve been hoodwinked into stuff.

some of these sales courses and stuff like that. And it’s like you pay $1,000 to do all the work. And it’s like them showing videos and they just, and it’s like, concerns me and it, like that a lot of people will be like.

Jessica Phillips (11:12.586)
Yeah, but look, I mean, people have people been buying self-help books. So you remember that XYZ for dummies. Remember those books, those yellow books are always in the bookstores. I feel like this is a this has been like an approach for a long time. It’s just this is the new way that people are doing it. Yeah. Right. But I feel like, you know, like if so, if I were going to go into that space and do something differently, I would say it’s not about these things. It’s about you and adding pizzazz. Yes.

Finding your own magic and acting yeah, so I’m gonna teach you acting classes You know like maybe like act and see like see here we go So it’s like if anybody right now is like in the acting world or whatever here’s a good business opportunity for you right go out and Tell people that formulas are wrong the way to become a good influencer creator is to really just have

Jessica Phillips (12:12.62)
and try them all out with your new pizzazz and see which one sticks. And then go with it. But it really is like, I just see a lot of people taking sometimes really interesting formulas. Like they’ll take my formula of take a.

take an assumption and go against it. And they’ll do it in the most uninteresting way you can imagine. I’m like, how did you mess that up? Everyone’s sort of learning, right? And so you kind of gotta give a little bit of, but yeah. What my point is is, of course, I don’t criticize people who don’t know how to do that, but it’s like, where my brain goes is that’s where the attention goes. And so I’ll tell you, because I started, I guess I’m a symptom of what I’m talking about,

about is I started offering ghost writing services for LinkedIn. Yeah, that’s not a symptom though. That’s actually a service that I think a lot of people are using. Well, yeah, it’s a service. And, you know, I have like rules, like pretty much those. I was like, it’s not like typical ghost writing where I’m going to be capturing your voice. Sure. Right. It’s like, I’m going to be like, I’m just going to be writing like what you’re doing interests me. So I’m going to just write it in this similar way. Yeah, I think we even did that. I think I sent you something. Right. This was good.

how I would have done it and I actually took it took my post down and put yours back up and it was trending a lot better. Well so then that you know made me think it means like ghost writing but like coach writing. Yeah totally. Right yeah it’s like send me your post for the week sure and we’ll sit there we’ll talk about it. You buried the lead here and you’ll learn more it’s like that give them a fish. Yes. You’re right like ghost writing I’m just gonna give you a fish but if I teach you how to fish.

then you’re better. My goal would actually be in a very Howard Gossage type of way. My goal would be that you don’t need me anymore. Right. His whole thing was like the more successful the advertising, unless you should spend on it. When you think about it, that makes total sense. Right. And but. You know, in the same way, like the more I coach you on writing to get to the point where you don’t need me anymore. Right. You know, and that’s why I charge so much up front because. See, that’s a good. Yeah. So it’s a good thought. So I just think that like.

Jessica Phillips (14:29.282)
people should be paying more attention to that, to that part of it, and not so much on the formula, the video has to have something fast happening in the beginning, and all that stuff you learn and you figure it out, like, you figure that out once, because…

Even if you make a video the wrong way, if you have personality, it’ll trend. Yeah, it’ll get pretty far. So you’re getting the majority here. And then the next. Then you’ll just learn how to start. Then you start getting more interesting in how to enhance that. Exactly. So I think maybe it’s like that people have it backwards. Yeah. Well, people have no patience, too. It’s like when you start, you want to see success right away. You want to go viral. You want to do all these things, right? I see that with B2C and B2B, everybody.

But the reality is, you know, B2B marketing is a long game. It’s also a long game to become a B2B influencer. Yes. And so I think that those two things mirror each other really, really well. Right? Yeah. I mean, it’s an interesting world. And I do think B2B stuff is.

Like I said, I think it’s coming for the big screen, if you will. And it’s going to be it’s going to be fun times. And I think it’s going to be a boon for B2B marketers. I’m really excited about the shift because I think that they have not been able to experience some of the things that B2C has been. And I think that this is going to be I do think it’s going to move the needle in pretty exceptional ways for a lot of B2B businesses. For some reason, when you were saying that, what went on in my head was.

Jessica Phillips (16:09.542)
I did this post a while ago, but there’s all this stuff about how everyone’s saying that people don’t like advertising anymore. They just want and they refer to like the influencer and the content creators as not advertising. And again, this is the type of segmentation that I don’t believe in.

as a generalist, what’s the point of trying to just solve the problem? But what I find interesting about that comment is what I, what is that?

I guess from targeting or whatever, when I go on Instagram, the only ads I see pretty much are ads of people trying to sell me their course. And it’s usually millennials and Gen Z people selling me to get more sales or to learn about drop shipping or like the worst kind of back page magazine stuff that you can, like this is what the internet has become to a certain extent. And…

Jessica Phillips (17:14.902)
It’s like it’s like what you say it sounds like an ad. Yeah, you know, but that’s all I see and so it must be working Right. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t work because the stuff that they say I could imagine it capturing a very vulnerable thing Person like if my sales are down if I’m out of money and whatever

But what I find ironic is that the same people who, I mean, I once saw an ad from a person selling me their course about how advertising’s dead. Oh, that’s funny. You know what I mean? Yeah, but you’re advertising, right? Using the cleanest form of direct response, formulaic stuff, the hook, the this, the that, I went back and I watched that ad multiple times and I dissected it. And I’m like, this is a play out of like, not just

Claude Hopkins, like 1920s direct marketing, like Dan Kent. This guy took a Dan Kennedy course, you know, like he’s like the most popular, like Russell Brunson, you know, like, you know, and he’s telling me that advertising is dead. That’s weird to me. That’s weird. It’s ironic. It’s ironic. And it’s a weird world we live in. You know.

And then you have influencers and content creators that are just almost taking a play out of the 1960s advertising revolution and doing it for social. Yeah. And I’ll tell you, this is something I’ve thought about in the past two days, because there’s been a lot of discussion on LinkedIn about creativity is dead in advertising.

and they blame clients. And oh, this was the conversation that came up about Adobe with somebody and I said, oh, you know, actually I saw a influencer campaign that was really highly creative, you know? Really impressed me, like really, you know, it was what it was in the influencer world, but it was like creative and interesting. And I think that the problem is not that clients don’t recommend creativity anymore. I don’t know who.

Jessica Phillips (19:22.978)
to peg this problem on. But it occurred to me, I was swiping through, and I came up to, it was on Instagram, and it said, wait for it, and then there was like a lion, or like this had me on the floor, and it was like a lion going like this, and it was like, and then.

it went to roar, but the person dubbed out the roar and just had a person going, woohoo! This lion had like a beautiful mane. Like it looked like a shampoo commercial. And so it was like, woohoo, woohoo! And I watched that whole thing. And the first thing in my ad brain went off was, this would be a great shampoo commercial. Like if this was a shampoo commercial, 20, 30 years ago, in the 80s, gone viral. Like a gorilla.

playing the drums to Phil Collins. The problem is that advertising hasn’t become more creative. The problem is that we’ve all become more creative.

So it has said that the it’s democratized. Yeah, like you don’t have to work in an agency anymore Sure, sure to be that creative. So therefore remember what I said before about like how the The and if you are going to do paid advertising it has to be more interesting and more Creatives I guess yeah, then the content that’s on

that’s on the social platform. Well, on TikTok, that’s damn difficult. It is, yeah, because people are very creative. You’re right. I…

Jessica Phillips (20:57.218)
I haven’t worked in that agency for three years. And TikTok was just getting started around then. I wouldn’t want to be an ad creative starting out in advertising today. Yeah. Well, that’s why I think a lot of brands, a lot of companies are hiring creators to do this stuff, because they speak the language, and they’re really good at it. They’re really good at it. Yeah. And that’s the challenge. That’s the challenge for brands, and that’s

for you that’s why they got to go to you yeah absolutely that’s why they that you know because you can’t do you can’t do that on your own and you can’t it’s scary it’s scary it was a scary thing yeah because you’re not you’re not competing with you’re competing with

We’re competing with millions of people now. Right. Yeah. You’re you’re competing with people doing funny videos and doing weird things. And you’re competing with the girl that you likes, you know, pictures and you’re competing with your ex’s pictures and you’re competing with what your best friend just posted. And you’re competing like so much. Yeah. But more but even more so you’re competing with. Crazy. It’s.

There’s just, it’s almost an overload of creativity. I think that that’s why, like, you know, and just to shift gears a little bit to B2C. I think that that’s one of the reasons that what we see on TikTok, what we see on TikTok is brands and people really showing up in the comments.

And where brands are really winning is they will, they’ll post something funny and they get in and they get in with the comments too. Or they can comment on a creator’s video. They can comment something funny, almost like a brand would have done, you know, seven years ago on Twitter, right? They come in with, you know, Oreo taken to the Super Bowl, the Dunk in the Dark, right? Like a line like that. They can come in and jump on a different trend. And we’ve seen that with the skateboarding guy, the fleet with Mac with ocean spray, right? Like we saw that, like a brand jumps into a moment.

Jessica Phillips (23:05.74)
to be creative for that ad. The ad was created for them. They just needed to lean into the movement. Into the moment. And that’s what Ryan Reynolds does with his fast advertising. And that’s what, you know, the origin of this, actually the guy who invented the term interactive advertising.

Interactive advertising doesn’t mean like people. No one wants to talk to soap. You know what I mean? Like you don’t want to have a conversation with soap. That’s not what interactive and it doesn’t even click on a banner. And that’s not what interactive advertising means. Like the guy, Howard Gostage was the guy. He actually invented interactive advertising in the 60s with coupons. Oh, what he would do is he would create an ad like one of them was for Eagle Shirts manufacturers. They’re they’re the ones that made all

men shirts that then like Neiman Marcus would

say are their own. OK. Right? Sure. And so they wanted to make sure that people knew that Eagle Shirts existed, and in a way that they were like, they’re the providers for all of these things. So because they maybe were going to start selling their own shirts or whatever. So what Howard Gossage did is he created an ad with a picture of one of the most popular shirts that are sold through the stores. And it just said, is this your shirt? If it is, send us a coupon, and we’ll send you an Eagle Shirt label so you could sell it in yourself. Oh, that’s funny. Right?

Or he would he had another one where he invented like a pockets like a like a sample fabric that had a pocket on it and a button and then and he’s like a sugar like the headline was like sugar chip napchief. But what like what should we call this and what would you use it for and then people would write in. Yes, and so many people wrote in that they that he published a book about it. That’s it’s not the same thing with Betty Crocker.

Jessica Phillips (24:58.998)
The where they started they create they that’s why that’s the character of Betty Crocker and why she was yes Created right was actually like I humanized that brand and then people but she had a column and then people were right into her Right. Yeah exactly a column and people and he did this for Fina gas stations where he He realized that nobody cares about gas sure like what is in the gas. So he invented this campaign Well, we invented pink arrow for tires

And we want to send you a free sample of the pink air. And of course, we can’t send you samples. So we have a pink balloon within a pink balloon. And we’ll send you one for each one of the kids that you have by the way. How many do you have? The real purpose of that ad. Collecting information on people. Yeah. The real purpose of that ad is to find out where the families live so that they can put the gas stations there.

saved millions of dollars and got tons of free publicity. So he would use coupons and actually prevented the flooding of the Grand Canyon from Congress using the strategy. Really? He did a lot of things. How do you prevent the flooding of the Grand Canyon? So they were gonna flood the Grand Canyon for whatever reason, like a certain part of it. And someone in Congress said, well, the people are gonna like it because they can get closer to the walls. And then one of the people responded to that, I was like, should we flood the Sistine Chapel?

and get closer to the ceiling. And so that became the headline. And it was this whole article. And then he had 10 coupons in this thing that were addressed to the President of the United States, the Vice President, the Senator, whatever. And they got flooded with so much mail. And…

Jerry Mander, who is Howard Gossett’s partner, he just recently passed away, but very recently he was being interviewed about it. And he’s like, he said he doesn’t understand why brands still don’t do this today. Because it means nothing to like a tweet. Like a million likes on a tweet, that’s boxed, it’s this, it’s nothing. But if you could get 300 people to actually take the time to print something out, maybe not cut it out, print something out, mail it, stamp it, those 300 things,

Jessica Phillips (27:07.954)
right then

Jessica Phillips (27:13.654)
Yeah, just a tweet. And that’s what that’s what that’s what real interactivity is. It’s like it’s like getting it’s not just so much getting people to write, but do something and giving somebody recourse, right? To to get more involved. And that’s I think a big reason why Tiktok has had gained so much popularity because you have the trends that here do this dance like when Charlie DeMilio was like, yes, the shining star and she was doing all these dances and you would try to do the dance to jump on this trend. It’s just participation.

like ice bucket challenges from yesteryear, right? Yes. All of that stuff, yeah. Now you mentioned Betty Crocker, which is really interesting because it reminded me of something else because you know Betty Crocker.

Jessica Phillips (27:57.814)
was, you ever hear that story? So their instant cake mix? Yes, yes, you mentioned that to me. That was a really cool one. Yeah, yeah. So tell it. I’ll just repeat it again. So it’s somewhat a famous story about how Betty Crocker with the cake mix, and nobody was buying it because it was too instant. Even though people said that they were interested in the product. They were interested in that product, and they would.

And but nobody was buying it. And so then they did these studies that instead of hiring the poll people, the Gallup poll people, the analytical people, had a psychologist. Now it wasn’t Edward Bernays, but it was like the next level. Edward Bernays is the guy who invented PR. Okay. I’ll get back to him in a second. But it was a dictator. Okay. I forget his first name. And he had this motivational lab.

And his main thing was finding out the deep psychological reasons of why people buy things. Behavioral marketing. Behavioral, which is usually counterintuitive to what you would think. Sure. And in this case, it was. It was, yes, the housewives at the time liked the idea of instant cooking, but it also made them feel a little guilty. Guilty, yeah. Yeah. Like, I’m not, you know, and that’s a human nature. We want to be involved in what kind of we’re doing. We want to feel kind of proud, especially with something baking and cooking for your family and your husband.

So his advice was that they should add in the instructions, just add two eggs. And then in the add, it was also adenic. And

They did that and then the sales went through the roof. Yeah, it’s very telling, right? When you say people say one thing and they want it, but will they do it because is it accepted? But I think that’s also what we’re seeing in this recommendation algorithms, right? They say they wanna see this stuff and probably they do, but what they actually end up watching is cat videos. Whatever, right? So now all of a sudden you’re getting served all of this content that you actually, maybe you don’t wanna see it, but you’re enjoying it. And so you go, like your behaviors, you’re saying one thing, your behavior is going another way. And that’s why these

Jessica Phillips (30:05.756)
have been so insanely successful. Successful. Also, if by success, we’re defining that as capturing attention. Right, but also I think this has detrimental effects in the sense that. Oh, 1,000%, yeah. You know, because what people really want is new. Is new, yes. They don’t want new to happen to them. Right. They want, they use the same thing over and over again. And I think you’re seeing Gen Z.

you know, is now stepping in and saying, and you know, certain types of content and whatever is boring and cliche, and an entire generation that, if you say what Hogwarts house you are, it’s like eye rolling, you know what I mean? So it, a lot of, you know, that’s just human nature. But what’s really interesting about the…

Betty Crocker example and with the influencer stuff. If I can just go back to it for a second. Is, so go back to Edward Bernays, who’s the guy who invented PR. And, Edictor was a planet advertising, but it’s very much like a PR aspect of advertising, is that what Edward Bernays figured out was that,

There are certain times when if you want to influence people to do something, buy something, not in a bad way, or in a bad way, but if you want to influence people to, and I mean this in a bad way, Goebbels said he was very influenced by.

Edward Bernays’ book, which is ironic because Edward Bernays was Jewish and a nephew of Freud. But he, but that just shows how powerful what Edward Bernays discovered was, was that, you know.

Jessica Phillips (32:01.722)
This is a horrible example, but cigarette companies, you know the story of the cigarette companies, they were losing money because half the human population didn’t smoke, women didn’t smoke. And not only did they not smoke, but if they were seen smoking in public, big faux pas. Big no-no. A woman smoking, it was the men smoked. Okay. That’s a lot of revenue lost for cigarette companies.

So they went to ever new Bernays and says, how can we get women to start smoking? So whatever Bernays did was is. He got he. What was happening at the time was women’s rights, women’s rights to vote. This was based off of your comment about tapping into the what’s going on in the world.

And so he hired a bunch of female influencers, society women, to Thanksgiving Day Parade to march down. They were marching down. And they would all simultaneously take a cigarette and light up and walk down. Oh, how interesting. And they called them Torches of Freedom.

So what he did was he turned cigarette smoking into an anti-masculine, right? You know, we have the phallic object to type of rebellious act. So he, he didn’t try to persuade anybody with advertising. Instead, he created the environment in which that could exist. The other example is like he was asked to sell more pianos by Steinway or something. Now there are a lot of famous, great piano advertisements that worked.

and sold a lot of pianos, something, The Immortals by Rubicon. There are a lot of these. What he did, but none of that was working anymore for whatever reason, so what he did was, now here’s a really, here’s an example that sometimes influencing the influencers doesn’t mean influencing the influencers that are directly involved with your product. So you would think, if I went to just like some hokey, you know.

Jessica Phillips (34:07.094)
Influencer firm and said I want to sell more pianos, right? so You’d think okay. Well, I’m gonna go get music influencers to say I make music on this piano, right? Well, you have to expand beyond your core market, right? Right, you need something new but here’s what I really mean by influencing the influencers What he did instead was is he went to the people?

This happened when the suburbs were popping up. Okay. So what he did was, is he went to the people who were building homes in the suburbs and said, you know, people are living in the city and they have this dreams of this idyllic homes and I think that every home should have a music room.

Jessica Phillips (34:54.062)
So he got the contractors to, he influenced the home builders to build music rooms into the homes in the suburbs, living rooms, right? And they call them music rooms. Now what does every music room need? A piano, yeah. So you’re gonna move into this house, you’re gonna get a piano.

And then they were hit with a direct mail about a piano for your music room. Yeah. So that’s what I mean by influencing the influencers. And then what you’re also doing is you’re instead of, instead of forcing a message down people’s throat, you’re creating the space where people just don’t even realize it’s a little, it’s a little shady. When you think about it, it’s like, you know, people don’t even realize how much they’ve been manipulated into thinking, you know, into buying that product or doing it.

that could be a really interesting way of using B2B influencers, right? Where it’s like, I don’t even know where I’m being played. Right. You know? Well, none of us do at the end of the day. I’m in this space with both of us. And it’s like, we’re still susceptible to advertising. It’s just the way it is. Persuasion. Yeah, persuasion. Exactly. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s like, um.

But influencers are a medium of persuasion. And as long as it is done in an authentic way, it will likely be very successful. Yeah. That’s actually why I also tell aspiring copywriters and advertising creatives, I say, don’t. You can have a swipe deck. Sure. You know, the ads that you like or influence, whatever. But more importantly, you need to have a wallet deck. And that is at things.

you need to keep track of the ads that actually made you buy something. More than more than anything. Yeah. And I think I think, you know, that would be kind of an interesting thing for influencers and content creators to do as well. Yeah. To keep track of. It’s a hard thing to admit. But if you consciously keep track and if you admit to yourself like this influencer post.

Jessica Phillips (37:04.042)
Actually, absolutely I do that all the time because that’s a strategy then that I use to Inform our clients on ways that I think will be successful for you know for them. You should do that with your team You have a part on your website. You’re right. We said says

whether we created these posts or not. These were influential and here’s why. It’s kind of like when like Blockbuster, I remember it’d be like, here’s what, here are the movies Jane is watching, recommends and it’s sort of like that. Each person that works there, it’s like, they bought, maybe there’s some things they don’t want to admit that they bought. But it’s like, I bought this, this influencer post influenced me to buy this.

extremely valuable service. Absolutely.

Yeah, those are good thoughts. It’s more than just the data. You actually see it and you can. Totally. That’s a really good practice that I think would be good for both B2B and B2C, just to kind of take note and see. And we do that a lot. I have in my notes file, I don’t have a remarkable, but I do have my Apple Notes that I use a lot. And I do save down LinkedIn posts that I think are interesting, like formats and things that people have done that I find interesting that I want to try myself. And so it’s really kind of all about, I think it’s all about just being a consumer in the space,

working, what is interesting, what inspires you, and then applying that to your own brand, your own voice. Right? 100%. Yeah. Cool. Yeah.

Jessica Phillips (38:34.978)
That’s a great conversation. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for joining. I think, you know, a lot of a lot of good insights for our audience. And I think it’s nice to take a generalist approach to things every once in a while and kind of realize that, you know, even though we are in the influencer marketing business, everyone who listens to this podcast is interested in influencer marketing. Let’s not forget that it is a part of the overall pie of advertising. And there are things that we can and should be remembering and learning and experiencing so that we can only improve the work that we do in the

And I would say, I would add to that, you know.

One of the things we do, right, is we like to, no matter what problem you come, is we take a step back and we say, is that really the thing? But a lot of times it’s insistent. So if you’re insistent, or if you have someone that’s insistent that says, no, we’re gonna use influencers, that’s fine, but then realize that that’s become your problem now. Your problem now is that you need to achieve this goal only using this tool. And then you have to kind of, now it’s like you’re MacGyver. So it could be really,

You know, Gen Z has no idea who my grandfather is. Yeah, sorry. Well, look it up. Google it. Yeah, exactly. Or ask ChatGPT or whatever. But now you have these two tools. Yeah. And the first, so my advice would be, my generalist advice is, OK, come up with the first right answer. OK, right? I’m selling pianos. I need to hire influencers. I’m going to get musicians.

Right? Now I challenge you to come up with 100 more right answers. Right. Because when the first five are gonna be easy, but six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 88, 99. Yeah. That’s when you’re gonna have to start pushing your brain and that’s when you’re gonna get like, oh, what if I got builders to build houses? You know.

Jessica Phillips (40:33.322)
And so maybe I should start creating influencer content for them. And it’s a longer term play, but. You know, like it just start thinking that way and it will lead to good things. I agree. Good thoughts. All right. Well, thank you for coming on the podcast. No problem. I had so much fun. And yeah, I hope to continue the conversation. Absolutely.