Wizard of Ads Monday Morning Memo

Roy H. Williams

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Thousands of people are starting their workweeks with smiles of invigoration as they log on to their computers to find their Monday Morning Memo just waiting to be devoured. Straight from the middle-of-the-night keystrokes of the Wizard himself, the MMMemo is an insightful and provocative series of well-crafted thoughts about the life of business and the business of life.

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1826 episodes

4m
Aug 15
War And Peace

War and PeaceAugust 15, 2022 http://goodies.wizardacademypress.com/MMM20220815-WarAndPeace.mp3 (Listen) Before Gandhi, there was Tolstoy.When Leo Tolstoy was 54, he wrote a book about the ethical teachings1 of Jesus as revealed in the Sermon on the Mount. For the rest of his life, Tolstoy advocated the use of peaceful, non-violent forms of resistance in the struggle for social change. Gandhi – the person we associate with peaceful, non-violent resistance – was 12 years old when Tolstoy’s book was published. Martin Luther King – the man who popularized peaceful, non-violent resistance in America – would not be born for another 45 years. In 1854, during the Crimean War, a British light brigade was ordered to charge the cannons of the Russian Empire.A “light brigade” carried only light weapons, such as sabers and pistols. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote about this famous headlong charge toward certain death: Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew Someone had blundered. Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of hell Rode the six hundred… Leo Tolstoy was a Russian artillery officer in that war and was forever changed by it.That war – the first modern war – led Tolstoy to the Sermon on the Mount and convinced him of the truth of Jesus’ words. “Blessed are the peacemakers… blessed are the meek… blessed are the merciful…” Tolstoy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 3 times, but each time he wrote to the committee and asked them to remove his name from consideration. When the public grew angry that Tolstoy never received the Nobel, he confessed that he had privately rejected it and wrote, “First, it has saved me the predicament of managing so much money, because such money, in my opinion, only brings evil. Secondly, I felt very honored to receive such sympathy from people I have not even met.” Tolstoy was loved by everyone except religious leaders. Remember that book he wrote in 1882 about the ethical teachings of Jesus? It did not appear in Russia for 24 years because it was blocked by the Orthodox Church, the leaders of the Christian faith in Russia. They were worried that Tolstoy might have been talking about them when he wrote, “I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means – except by getting off his back.” The religious leaders became angry again when Tolstoy wrote, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Mark Twain, a contemporary of Tolstoy, may well have been making a joke about religious leaders in America when he wrote, “By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.” Tolstoy saw Jesus and his teachings as gold surrounded by the mud of religiosity. He said,“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.” This reminds me of Michelangelo’s description of how he carved an angel from a block of marble: “I just removed everything that was not angel.” I will leave you now, to consider all that you have been told, and wash the mud from the gold, and remove everything that is not angel. Roy H. Williams 1 Tolstoy’s A Confession, (1882) was originally titled, An Introduction to a Criticism of Dogmatic Theology....

4m
Aug 15

3m
Aug 08
Man Bites Dog

Man Bites DogAugust 8, 2022 http://goodies.wizardacademypress.com/MMM2022080-ManBitesDog.mp3 (Listen) Predictability is the silent assassin of persuasion.When static electricity saturates the sky, lift the lightning rod of the new, the surprising, and the different and let the concert begin. The booming of the big bass drum will make the draperies tremble as the lasers light up the night. Give that anxious electricity something to focus on. Win the attention of the storm. Don’t tell us, “It was a dark and stormy night.” Light it up. When your jagged blade rips a gash in the sky and makes the darkness cry, we will lift our faces into the wet and laugh until the grass is green again. Light it up. We rarely raise our faces from these glittering screens because you rarely have anything new to say. We stare at the electricity behind this glass because it is always new, always surprising, always different. Look into our eyes and you will see the static electricity of our boredom is always there, always anxious, always looking for an outlet. Lift your lightning rod into that darkness. Set our world ablaze with the unexpected. We will reward you with our attention. Pixies, faeries, sprites and elves run naked through the darkness, laughing at everything, giggling with glee, eyes twinkling, feet flying, they run with abandon, afraid of nothing. What are you afraid of? Do you read boring, fact-filled fluff? Or do you read fluff made of different stuff? As you read, so will you write.When colorful, unexpected words fill your sight, you have raised your ink pen into the night and filled it with ink of electric light. Now write. When you have nothing to say, don’t let anyone convince you to say it. But when you have something to say, don’t say it regular and tidy with tucked-in corners. Say it with the rhythm of faeries running naked through the night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Where you begin is unimportant. How you proceed is all that matters.‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even the faerie hiding behind the curtains with a match in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other. This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning. So tell me, what happens next? Roy H. Williams

3m
Aug 08

3m
Aug 01
How to Recruit and Retain Good Employees

Rugged individualism is the essence of America.It is also the reason that we, as a people, feel isolated and lonely. Our focus on personal, individual success is the reason we feel disconnected from one another. This is happening even in our marriages according to Ian Kerner, author of the book, So Tell Me About the Last Time You Had Sex, and Terrence Real, author of Us: Getting Past Me and You. “Individualism is not a natural fact; it has a history. In American Colonial days, society was communalism on a small scale. It was about farms and small towns and small villages. When you lived face to face with your neighbor, it was a palpable reality that the good of all was the good for each of us. Civic virtue was the force that went beyond individual gratification. It was part of being a civilized person that you had a sense of civic virtue. With the Industrial Revolution, and the myth of the self-made man, all of that went by the wayside and it was each man for himself.” – Terrence Real We are living in a very conflicted time because most of us hold two conflicting beliefs. (1.) We believe in a culture of individual achievement, “ME”, (2.) but as we approach the zenith of a societal “WE”, there is a desire to find our tribe, to join, to belong, to work as a group for the common good. Next year is the zenith of our current “WE.” It happens once every 80 years. The previous “WE” zenithed in 1943 when America was united against Hitler. We threw ourselves into something bigger than ourselves; something we believed in, something that satisfied our need to belong and make a difference. And now you know why we see all those deeply impassioned splinter groups in the news each week. Here’s the good news: you can harness that same “need to belong” to recruit and retain good employees.Good employees are attracted to companies with a strong culture. They are looking for a company they can believe in, a place where they can belong and make a difference. When you want to strengthen your company culture, you need to publish your Unifying Principles. I have previously called these your “We Believe” statements. Publishing them is the easy part. The difficult part is that you have to live them. About eight minutes into his famous TED-X talk at Puget Sound, Simon Sinek says, “The goal is not just to hire people who need a job; it’s to hire people who believe what you believe. I always say that, you know, if you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if they believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” Indy Beagle will tell you about Culture Wizards in the rabbit hole. Roy H. Williams

3m
Aug 01

6m
Jul 25
My Favorite Francis

I’m telling you up front that I’m not sharing anything valuable or useful today, but don’t let that keep you from continuing.Today we’re going to talk about 7 guys named Francis. Alan Lightman is not one of those 7 guys. Lightman is a past professor at Harvard and a current professor at MIT and a famous physicist who was responsible for establishing MIT’s policy that requires all students to be trained in speaking and writingduring each of their four years as an undergraduate. Alan’s father Richard Lightman was a movie theater owner who played a major role in desegregating movie theaters in the South in 1962. Richard taught Alan how to get things done and make a difference. In his book, A Sense of the Mysterious, Alan writes, “Not long ago, sitting at my desk at home, I suddenly had the horrifying realization that I no longer waste time.” After he wrote that sentence, he wrote an entire book titled, In Praise of Wasting Time. That’s what you and I are doing right now. We are wasting time in a way that will invigorate you and cause you to think new and different thoughts. You are about to jump out of a deep rut in the road that has been your life.We are at the intersection of Monotony and Surprise. Are you ready to jump? Francis Scott Fitzgerald is the Francis we quote in the first hour of the 3-day Magical Worlds class at Wizard Academy. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Francis Ford Coppola gave us Apocalypse Now and The Godfather trilogy. Francis “Frank” Sinatra gave Indy Beagle the song “It Was a Very Good Year.” Indy told me he plans to share it with you in the rabbit hole. Sir Francis Drake was a contemporary of Shakespeare and an explorer and a pirate for England, and a seafaring thorn in the side of King Philip II of Spain, who offered a reward for his capture that would be nearly $9 million today. Queen Elizabeth gave Francis a knighthood. Francis “James” Cameron gave us Avatar and Titanic, the first and third highest-grossing films of all time, bringing in $2.85 billion and $2.19 billion respectively. Francis “Frank” Zappa was an iconic musician, composer, singer and songwriter whose work was characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, musical virtuosity and the comedic satire of American culture. His kids are Dweezil, Moon Unit, Diva Muffin, and Ahmet Emuukha. Francis Bacon is my favorite Francis. Like Francis Drake, he was a contemporary of Shakespeare. Bacon was a statesman, a philosopher, and a master of the English tongue. After the death of Queen Elizabeth, Francis Bacon served as lord chancellor of England for King James I, for whom the 1611 King James translation of the Bible was named. These are some of my favorite memories of Francis Bacon:“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” “A dance is a measured pace, as a verse is a measured speech.” “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact (man.)” “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” “Nothing does more hurt in a state than when cunning men pass for wise.” “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” “Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.” “The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.” “Where philosophy is based on reason, faith is based on revelation, and is consequently irrational. The more discordant and incredible the divine mystery is, the more honor is shown to God in believing it, and the nobler is the victory of faith.” “But now we are to step back a little to that, which by premeditation we passed over, lest a breach should be made in those things that were so linked together.” If the...

6m
Jul 25

6m
Jul 18
Gerald

Gerald was an unwanted third son to his father, so his mother took Gerald on long walks each Saturday night so they would not be available when his father came home drunk. To avoid a beating, Gerald and his mother would wait outside in all weathers until his father fell asleep. Gerald was 16 when his father died, so he quit school to help support his mother by singing in the London subways for tips. Gerald was a Scottish introvert who became famous, but who could have been much more so.I closed last week’s Monday Morning Memo with a famous line from one of Gerald’s songs: “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” Some people surround themselves with a low outer wall, and a high inner wall. It’s easy to get to know them, but hard to get to know them well. Gerald was the opposite; he had a high outer wall and a low inner wall. It was nearly impossible to meet him, but those he allowed to get to know him, knew him well enough to know that he was attracted to the comfort of the familiar. New places and new faces were emotionally exhausting to Gerald, so he drank to hide from them. Gerald wrote, “Winding your way down on Baker Street, light in your head and dead on your feet, well, another crazy day, you’ll drink the night away, and forget about everything. This city desert makes you feel so cold. It’s got so many people, but it’s got no soul, and it’s taken you so long, to find out you were wrong, when you thought it held everything.” In the words of his daughter, Martha, “The soaring saxophone solo perfectly captures the endurance and triumph of the human spirit in adversity, the sun rising out of the darkness and lighting the way once again… ‘and when you wake up it’s a new morning, the sun is shining it’s a new morning, and you’re going, you’re going home’.” On that same album was a song called Right Down the Line. “You know I need your love, you’ve got that hold over me. Long as I’ve got your love, you know that I’ll never leave. When I wanted you to share my life, I had no doubt in my mind. And it’s been you, woman, Right down the line.” Both songs were on a 1978 album called City to City. That album almost didn’t get made. Gerald was not a people person. Paul Simon openly admired Gerald’s song-writing ability.Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney both wanted to work with Gerald, but Gerald said “no.” According to his manager, City to City was rejected by several record label executives because of Gerald’s defensive abrasiveness. The only reason they got a record deal was because Artie Mogull, the United Artists representative, “was in a rush and never met him.” When Rolling Stone interviewed Gerald, he said, “To be a ‘star’ in inverted commas – that is probably the last thing I want. I knew I’d written a good bunch of songs … I remember thinking I’d be pleased if City to City sold 50,000 copies.” City to City became a worldwide phenomenon, selling over 5.5 million copies. Hiding from people because his outer wall wasn’t quite high enough, the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, drank himself to death. Hiding from people because his outer wall wasn’t quite high enough, the great American novelist, Jack Kerouac, drank himself to death. Hiding from people because his outer wall wasn’t quite high enough, the great Scottish songwriter, Gerry Rafferty, drank himself to death. His daughter, Martha Rafferty, gathered a collection of her father’s unpublished recordings during the lockdown of 2020 and https://gerryrafferty.com/ (posted them, with these comments, on a website.) “His evolution as a songwriter was intimately connected to his love and joy of singing. Singing was home for him, and he returned to it every day wherever he found himself, harmony especially so. He loved the company of singing with others and nothing gave him more joy, as those who have sat around a table with him will testify. That was his way

6m
Jul 18

2m
Jul 11
Inflection Point

The long-ago Greeks had two words for time: Kronos (χρόνος) and Kairos (καιρός). Kronos is chronological time, sequential time, the metered time of the regimented left hemisphere of the brain. Kairos is an inflection point, a time-window of indeterminate length during which something consequential happens. On the other side of the Kairos, things are forever different. Kronos time is quantitative and accurate. Kairos time is qualitative and important. The thing about moments of Kairos is that you can see them most clearly when they are behind you. We make decisions every day, and with every choice we make we reach a point of no return, and wonder what might have been. But I think you will agree that some decisions have longer arms than others. They are more consequential. They carry heavier Kairos and more profoundly affect our future. I believe we will be swimming in Kairos moments during 2022, 2023, and 2024. I can see their silhouettes on the horizon at twilight. Walk outside this evening, just as the sun disappears below the western edge of the world, and consider the silhouettes of events that have not yet happened. These moments of consequence float like icebergs on a rising tide of misinformation, and are blown toward us by the breath of newscasters. One-by-one, they will soon begin to arrive. The frustrating reality is that we won’t be making these pivotal decisions individually; we will be making them collectively. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you. Roy H. Williams Roving reporter Rotbart is wandering the wide world with his family, but he and MondayMorningRadio will return to us after Labor Day.

2m
Jul 11

4m
Jul 04
Magical Thinking

If you win the heart, the mind will follow. The mind will always create logic to justify what the heart has already decided. In 1981, Dr. Roger Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his documentation of brain lateralization, which basically says that we don’t have 1 brain divided into 2 hemispheres as much as we have 2 separate, competing brains. The LEFT hemisphere is the home of rational, logical, sequential, deductive reasoning. Think of it as the Intellect; the Mind. It puts you in touch with this world and leans toward suspicion and doubt. But the RIGHT hemisphere does none of those things. Think of it as the Heart. It understands the six sub-languages in the language of music; pitch, key, tempo, rhythm, musical interval and musical contour. The right hemisphere puts you in touch with a world that could be, should be, ought to be, someday. HOPE is alive and well in the right hemisphere of your brain. It understands symbols, and assigns meanings to shapes and colors. The logic of the right hemisphere is intuition, gut feelings, and hunches. Your body contains 100 million sensory receptors that allow you to see, hear, touch, taste and smell physical reality. But your brain contains 10,000 billion synapses. This means you are approximately 100,000 times better equipped to experience a world that does not exist, than a world that does. Call 1-800-Got-Junk. Life is happier when it’s less cluttered. Your house will be bigger. Your teeth will be whiter. Angels will sing. You’ll be a better dancer. Magical Thinking is a style of writing characterized by elements of the fantastic – woven with a deadpan sense of presentation – into an otherwise true story.Now this is where it gets really interesting; the right hemisphere of your brain doesn’t know fact from fiction or true from false. That’s the left brain’s job. This is why you can enjoy books, movies, and TV shows that you know are fiction. Magical Thinking is a style of writing that is full of HOPE. Magical Thinking doesn’t talk about the frustration of a situation or the pain of a problem. It illuminates a happy world in which anything is possible. Magical Thinking offers the customer an effortless, frustration-free solution. Employees, your boss wants you to know: “If you answer the phones for our company or knock on the doors of customers, please know that you are a vitally important part of the advertising and marketing team. Our customers expect you to be the living embodiment of our advertising; cheerful and helpful and magically able to make their problem disappear. We will become giants if we act like the company we claim to be in our advertising.” Magical Thinking makes Magical Advertising makes Happy Customers makes Business Grow. Do you want to employ the power of https://wizardofads.org/partners/ (Magical Thinking?) Roy H. Williams According to Lynette Smith, July 4th is the perfect time for writing personal, heartfelt letters to colleagues, family members, friends, and others who have enriched your life. Lynette is a letter-writing evangelist who has authored multiple books on the art and impact of letters that will be kept and saved and savored for decades. “If you want to demonstrate genuine appreciation,” Lynette tells roving reporter Rotbart, “only a letter will do.” MondayMorningRadio.com

4m
Jul 04
Just Keep Showing Up

It’s impossible not to like someone who likes you.This is why the secret of success is to just keep showing up. My friend Brett was studying theater in college until the day a professor told him to lie on his back, close his eyes, and “breathe blue.” Brett did his best, gave up, got up, walked out. Brett did not become an actor. But he did become a highly successful political consultant. In Brett’s own words, here’s how it happened: “I was looking at the bulletin board in the hallway of my dorm when I saw a little poster that said, ‘All the pizza and beer you can eat and drink if you work 2 hours on the telephone.’ I like pizza, I like beer, so I went to the address at the appointed time and made calls to ‘get out the vote’ for a political party. I didn’t care about politics at all, but I cared a lot about pizza and beer, so I came back night after night. They thought I was really dedicated.” “After several months of showing up, they invited me to work at an out-of-town rally. I went along and noticed the food is better when you go out-of-town. So I kept doing out-of-town rallies until someone asked me if I could write some ads for a campaign. One thing led to another, and here I am. Go figure.” The only unique part of Brett’s story is the part about breathing blue. The rest of it – the part about always showing up – is the world’s most common path to success. Brett quit showing up for acting classes. But he never quit showing up at political events. You will become the thing for which you keep showing up.“Believe in yourself” and “Never give up” are motivational clichés. They sound good, but they give you no real action to take. Do you want to succeed? Just keep showing up. We hear a lot about the value of persistence and determination, but the way to demonstrate those qualities is to just keep showing up. The most important time to show up, is when you don’t feel like showing up. When everyone else has dropped out, faded away, and quit, you are the king of the mountain. In his final speech at the end of his long and wonderful life, Paul Harvey talked about the importance of never failing to show up. He said, “Repetition is effective. Repetition is effective. Repetition is effective.” When you want your company to be the one people think of immediately and feel the best about when they need what you sell, just keep showing up. It’s easy to do. The problem is that most advertisers will choose to reach 100% of the people, but convince them only 10% of the way, due to not enough repetition. They didn’t “show up” long enough to become a permanent fixture in the mind. That same money could have convinced 10% of the people 100% of the way, but most advertisers aren’t willing to do that because they worry about who they are “leaving out.” I’ve got news for you: You don’t have enough money to reach everyone. Limit your focus to only that number of people you can reach with relentless repetition. Keep showing up. It works in relationships. It works in business. It works in advertising. Just. Keep. Showing. Up.

4m
Jun 27

4m
Jun 27
Inside the Box, or Out?

My partner Kyle started a non-profit called “Neighbor in Need” after a developer made a comment that caused Kyle to become concerned about all the elderly people in his neighborhood who didn’t have the money to repair their homes, buy hot water heaters, replace air conditioners, or fix roof leaks. So Kyle decided to https://neighborinneed.org/ (do something about it.) What Kyle did was new, surprising, and different. That’s why it worked.If you want to bore people, just say what they expected you to say and do what they expected you to do. It works every time. You might even see them fall asleep. I have a friend who is building a condo tower in a town with a population of less than 100,000 people. He called a few days ago, laughing. He had hired a worldwide, world-famous company to manage the sale of the residential units in his building. They made a presentation to him about the “tried-and-true marketing plan” they intended to use. My friend said, “No, I’m going to ask my buddy to write me a series of radio ads. I’m planning to spend a small fraction of what you’re telling me I need to spend.” These professionals, understandably, began to vibrate with panic. “But we’ve tried radio and it doesn’t work! We’ve tried it again and again and it doesn’t work! You need to follow our plan!” My friend told them that radio advertising – quote – “works only as good as the ads you write.” Later, when they actually heard the radio ads, their panic rose to whole new level. The language and perspective of the ads was new, surprising, and different. And those three words can often mean, “experimental, reckless, and dangerous.” Things that are new, surprising, and different never feel as reliable as traditional wisdom. Don’t get me wrong; I believe in bringing the best of the past forward. I believe it to the core of my soul. In my heart, I am a traditionalist. But the problem with traditional wisdom is that it is often more tradition than wisdom. The problem with traditional wisdom in advertising is that it creates ads that feel familiar. And familiarity breeds contempt. Remember what I said earlier? “If you want to bore people, just say what they expected you to say and do what they expected you to do.” People hate ads that are predictable. The real estate marketers begged him not to air the crazy radio ads. They urged him to consider the story of how – in a much bigger city – they were able to convince nearly 1,500 people to register so that they might have a chance to buy a condo unit the moment they became available. Real estate roll-out campaigns like these typically span 56 days. The best they had ever done in 56 days– with a massive online push and billboards that blanketed a major city – was about 1,500 registrations. My friend was laughing because we were at day 14 of our radio push and our “experimental, reckless, and dangerous” radio ads had already generated more than 1,400 registrations and would soon top fifteen hundred. I wrote four ads and only the first of the four has been aired. I believe the second and third ads are the strongest. So now you know why my friend was laughing. I want you to do me three favors:1. Put things in your ads that are new, surprising, and different. Delight the public. Be remarkable. 2. Quit thinking that the secret of success is to – quote – “reach the right people.” 3. Slap the shit out of anyone who says to you, “No one listens to the radio anymore.” Indy has a wonderful rabbit hole prepared for you. To enter the rabbit hole, just click the image of Indy Beagle at the top of this page. Each click of an image takes you one page deeper.

5m
Jun 20

5m
Jun 20
A Colorful Cast of Characters

The ancient Greeks understood psychology a lot better than they understood science. Hippocrates, the father of the Hippocratic Oath, believed that our information-gathering and decision-making processes are determined by an imbalance of 4 bodily fluids – red blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm – two of which have never existed in the form that Hippocrates theorized. But the four basic temperaments that Hippocrates associated with these four fluids have lived on to be verified, codified, dignified and personified by screenwriters and novelists and social scientists* around the world. Hippocrates called these temperaments Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic, and Phlegmatic. More than 400 years ago, Shakespeare depicted the full range of human behaviors and character types by embracing the original theories of Hippocrates. The National Library of Medicine has https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/shakespeare-and-the-four-humors/index.html (an interesting online exhibit about it.) We see these four basic temperaments in ourselves, our family, our friends, and all the most interesting characters in every form of story-telling: The Wizard of Oz Lion (sanguine) Scarecrow (choleric) Dorothy (melancholic) and Tin Man (phlegmatic) Archie Comics Archie (sanguine) Veronica (choleric) Betty (melancholic) and Jughead (phlegmatic) I Love Lucy Ricky (sanguine) Lucy (choleric) Fred (melancholic) Ethel (phlegmatic) Gilligan’s Island Gilligan (sanguine) the Skipper (choleric) the Professor (melancholic) Mr. Howell (phlegmatic) Star Trek Captain Kirk (sanguine) Spock (choleric) Scotty (melancholic) Bones (phlegmatic) Magnum P.I. T.C. (sanguine) Tom (choleric) Higgins (melancholic), and Rick (phlegmatic) Friends Phoebe and Joey (sanguine) Monica (choleric) Ross (melancholic) Rachel and Chandler (phlegmatic) Seinfeld Kramer (sanguine) Elaine (choleric) George (melancholic) Jerry (phlegmatic) Frasier Roz (sanguine) Frasier (choleric) Niles (melancholic) Daphne (phlegmatic) The Golden Girls Blanche (sanguine) Sophia (choleric) Dorothy (melancholic) Rose (phlegmatic) Sex and The City Samantha (sanguine) Miranda (choleric) Charlotte (melancholic) Carrie (phlegmatic) Schitt’s Creek Moira (sanguine) Johnny (choleric) David (melancholic) Alexis (phlegmatic) Desperate Housewives Susan (sanguine) Gabrielle (choleric) Bree (melancholic) Lynette (phlegmatic) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Kimmy (Sanguine) Jacqueline (Choleric) Titus (Melancholic) Lillian (Phlegmatic) Big Bang Theory Howard (sanguine) Sheldon (choleric) Raj (melancholic) Leonard (phlegmatic) The Office Michael (sanguine) Dwight (choleric) Pam (melancholic) Jim (phlegmatic) Game of Thrones Arya (sanguine) Sansa (choleric) Jon (melancholic) Bran (phlegmatic) Entertainment is the only currency with which you can purchase the time and attention of a too-busy public.An understanding of the predictable frictions between these four temperaments – and their deep and abiding need for one another – is the basis of every form of long-term entertainment. The novelists who win the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes know this. The screenwriters of all the hit TV series know this. And the ad writers who make a difference know this. When you become intrigued with an interesting fictional character, you spend time with them, whether they are in a book, or a TV series, or in an ad campaign. Most ad writing is transactional: “Give us money, and this is what we’ll give you in return.” Transactional ads are about short-term “harvesting” but they work less and less well the more continuously you use them. Relational ads are about long-term “customer bonding” and they work better and better the longer you use them. Do you want your company to be the one that customers think of immediately and feel the best about? Create a long-term ad campaign that is 2/3 relational customer-bonding ads and

6m
Jun 13

6m
Jun 13
The Promise I Made You

I made you a promise on November 22 in a Monday Morning Memo called “Time Travel”.This was how https://www.mondaymorningmemo.com/newsletters/time-travel/ (that memo) began: “My friend Don has a time machine. He takes me with him sometimes. You should come, too! Every person who rides in Don’s time machine is changed by it.” “The United States Department of Justice has booked passage on Don’s time machine for countless prison inmates. State and local governments and hundreds of rehab centers have booked journeys for people as well. Thirty-five million in all.” “Each trip through time begins with a series of words…” I then described two different types of storytelling and the purpose and effect of each. And to give myself a little “third-party credibility,” I quoted Professor Steven Pinker of MIT and Harvard. When the word-count of that Monday Morning Memo indicated that we were approaching our destination and it was time to land, I instructed you to store your tray-table and return your seat to its full, upright and locked position. Then I told you something you probably didn’t know: “Every word in the English language is composed of just 44 sounds called phonemes. We arrange these into clusters called words which we string together in rapid succession so that others can see in their minds what we see in ours.” And then I talked about the Book of Beginnings. Do you you remember? “In the first chapter of Genesis, God says, ‘Let there be this’ and ‘Let there be that’ for 25 verses, and then in verse 26 he says, ‘Let us make mankind in our own image.'” “According to that ancient story, God spoke the world into existence and then gave you and me the power to do the same. When you, as a storyteller, speak a world into existence in the hearts and minds of your listeners, you are doing the work of God.” “Don Kuhl has spent the past 30 years unleashing the power of storytelling to help 35 million people find peace, hope, and happiness, and now he has written a book for you and me. It will be published early next year.” And then I promised you, “I’ll make sure you know when it’s available.” Roy H. Williams That book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. It’s called https://www.amazon.com/Changing-Aging-Little-Stories-Lessons/dp/0757324444/ref=sr_1_1?crid=20RWQJCUQJ7UE&keywords=Don+Kuhl+changing+with+aging&qid=1654164095&sprefix=don+kuhl+changing+with+aging%2Caps%2C79&sr=8-1 (“Changing with Aging: Little Stories, Big Lessons.”) Don sent preview copies to several people I know. Everyone who has received a copy has been enchanted and enthralled by the stories in Don’s book, as I knew they would be. Don is a remarkable teller of short, bright, heart-warming stories that overflow with honesty, transparency, and wisdom. Peter Vegso, the original publisher of that record-breaking series of books, “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” is such a fan of Don’s stories that he jumped at the chance to publish Don’s book. I have fulfilled my promise. I told you the book is available for pre-order. Do what seems to you good. My partner Johnny Molson was asked to speak to a 4th grade class last week about his career as an ad writer.When he left the school, Johnny texted me to say that two of the children had asked remarkably delightful questions. The first child asked, “Have you ever cringed at your own commercials?” Johnny answered yes, that he always cringes at the predictable commercials his clients occasionally demand that he write, but no, he never cringes at the happy ads that flow from the depths of his heart through his fingertips and then onto the radio and television airwaves. That’s when the second child asked, “Do you have a criminal record?” A conversation with a child is a remarkable adventure full of twists and turns, with surprises around every corner.Today’s rabbit hole is like that, too. It is a theological journey that begins in the first chapter of Genesis and ends...

6m
Jun 06

6m
Jun 06
Wide & Shallow vs. Narrow & Deep

A successful cluster manager was one of 36 people in a class I taught 2 months ago. When we went into Q & A, he asked for suggestions about what to do with a poorly performing radio station in his cluster. He expected me to suggest a format change, or a clever promotional campaign using billboards and TV. Or he may have thought I was going to give him some half-baked idea about how he could use social media to build an affinity group around the station’s format, because these are the kinds of suggestions people make when a radio station wants to attract a bigger audience. Why is it that everyone assumes the way to increase a radio station’s revenues is to increase the size of its audience?I said, “I’ll answer your question if you want me to, but I need to warn you that my answer is extremely simple, it always works, and it’s going to embarrass the hell out of you that you haven’t already done it.” Then I smiled and asked, “Are you sure you want me to answer in front of all these people?” Since he was the only broadcaster in a room full of business owners and the whole group had bonded pretty tightly during the previous 2 days and nights together, he just smiled back at me and said, “Bring it.” I wrote something on a piece of paper, then folded it and laid it on the table in front of him. “Game on.” The other 35 people in the room clapped and cheered because they knew we were about to have fun. He said, “It’s my number 6 station. My top 3 stations are doing fantastic and numbers 4 and 5 do pretty well, but number 6 just kind of limps along.” “Does it make a profit?” “Yes, but nothing special.” “How many units per hour do you feel would be the right spot load on that station?” He said he’d like to keep it to just 14 units per hour. I said, “6AM to midnight, 7 days a week, 14 units per hour yields 1,764 ads per week.” Next question: “Based on your current audience size, name a spot rate you would be happy to get on that station if every advertiser bought equal daypart distribution across 4 dayparts, morning drive, mid-day, afternoon drive, and evenings until midnight.” He named a modest price per ad. I said, “I’m a local business owner, I’m going to buy 40 ads per week, every week for 52 weeks, and I insist that my 40 ads get equal daypart distribution 6a to midnight. I want morning drive, mid-day, afternoon drive, and evenings until midnight, just like we talked about; none of that R.O.S.* crap. Got it?” He said, “Got it.” I said, “During the next 12 months, I’m going to become a household word to a whole lot of people. Frequency and consistency! That’s the right way to use radio! Forty ads per week for 52 weeks is going to make my business the one your audience thinks of immediately – and feels the best about – whenever they or any of their friends need what I sell.” Next question: “On your #6 station, what’s going to be my 1-week net reach with a weekly 3-frequency, 52 weeks in a row?” The man knew his station, so he was able to name the approximate net reach my schedule would deliver each week. It was a net reach that could make a real difference for any advertiser. I said, “Never let an advertiser compromise frequency and consistency. If they don’t want to do radio right, they don’t get to be on this station.” He said, “But that’s not how advertisers buy radio in my town.” I said, “We don’t need to convince the whole world. We just need to find 44 small business owners who can understand that this is the right way to use radio. We’re going to explain it to them and answer their questions until we have found 44 business owners smart enough to buy 40 ads per week with equal daypart distribution 6AM to midnight.” Then I reminded him how little money those 40 ads per week were going to cost those 44 advertisers each month. I asked, “How many businesses can afford that monthly investment?” That’s when it hit him. He appeared to be deep in thought when he muttered, “There’s a bunch of...

10m
May 30

10m
May 30
What You Do Today is Important

What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. What will you do today? “If your life’s work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you’re not thinking big enough.” – Wes Jackson I knew a man who used to say, “I don’t ever get my hopes up. That way, I’m never disappointed.” If I had been the executor of his estate, his gravestone would say: “He had potential.” I often write about Identity, Purpose, and Adventure: Identity: Who am I? Purpose: Why am I here? Adventure: What must I overcome? Without trouble, there is no adventure.That being said, children and grandchildren are the most wonderful adventure. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries: avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, non-redeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is hell.” – C. S. Lewis My friend J.P. Engelbrecht sent me a text last week, “Finally read A Gentleman in Moscow. What a lovely book! Thank you for the recommendation.” For those who have not read it, A Gentleman in Moscow is about an older man who becomes, through no choice of his own, the protector and caregiver of a little girl. It is truly a remarkable book. Now that I think about it, Little Orphan Annie is essentially that same story. Many years ago, Pennie and I loved watching Anne of Green Gables (1985) when it was available on TV. Right now we’re watching the updated version, Anne With an E. Basically, it’s about an elderly brother and sister who become, through no choice of their own, the protectors and caregivers of… Oh, I guess it’s the same story as the other two. “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer To protect and equip and encourage others is what each of us was born to do.Who are you protecting? If you are a not a protector, you need one. What are you equipped to do? If you are not doing it, now would be a great time to start. Who do you encourage? Let that be the person who decides what to carve on your tombstone. Roy H. Williams A Young Brian Scudamore had a series of private chats with a man who took $1,000 and turned it into a personal net worth of $3.5 billion. Simon Sinek told Brian his deepest insights the night he slept on Brian’s sofa. In Brian’s new book, you’ll meet an NBA superstar, a past president of Starbucks, a British advertising tycoon, and a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics as they wander on and off the pages like movie stars on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Wait! I just saw Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Dr. Seuss, and Charles Schwab. Roving reporter Rotbart talks to mega-famous Brian Scudamore, a longtime client of the wizard, on today’s happy and hilarious episode of MondayMorningRadio.com!

4m
May 23
Do You See? Do You Stand in Wonder? Do You Take Off Your Shoes?

I write advertising because I’m good at math.According to my calculations at age 18, the odds of making a living as an ad writer were 117,682% higher than the likelihood that I could make a living as a poet. But really, poems and ads are the same thing. Good poems promote a new perspective in a brief, tight economy of words. Good ads promote a new perspective in a brief, tight economy of words. The objective of both is to get you to see something differently. Poets and ad writers want to alter your perception. To do this, they use words that cause you to hallucinate; to see something that isn’t really there. They want you to look into their magic mirror and see yourself less worried, happier, and beaming with light. Every generation worries about what the next generation seems to have forgotten. Perhaps I am an outlier even among my own generation, but I have long been concerned about how few people today understand the purpose of the arts. I am frustrated that so few understand the differences between the heart and mind. I am broken-hearted that so few know the basic stories of the Bible. “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, 1857 Using the megaphone of poetry to whisper to us from 165 years ago, Dizzy Lizzy Browning is referring to the reaction of Moses in the desert of Midian when he saw a bush on fire in the distance that was never consumed. Moses turned aside to see it more closely. Looking into the glow, Moses heard a voice and took off his shoes because he knew he was in a special place. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is telling us that wonders are all around us, if only we would open our eyes. She is saying, “Stop. Notice. Go to the place. Realize that it is special.” How is that not an ad? When you know the basic stories of the Bible and the ancient Greeks, you see them echoed in the biggest movies, the best-selling novels, and the top-rated television shows. When you know those stories, you can use them as templates in communications of your own. These are stories that have proven to be magnetic, memorable, and persuasive. Note that phrase: “proven to be.” Repurpose the proven.In a movie directed by Oliver Stone in the second half of the 1980’s, Charlie Sheen plays a young man who follows a bad father figure, then turns to follow a good father figure. Can you name the movie? If you said Platoon, you are right. If you said Wall Street, you are right. Both movies told the same story, and both were a huge success. The primary difference was that Platoon took us into the green jungles of Viet Nam circa 1967, and Wall Street took us into the concrete jungles of Manhattan circa 1985. Here’s my point: Wall Street premiered less than 12 months after Platoon, but no one who saw it complained, “Hey, we were told this story last year!” Learn when and how to repurpose the proven.Solomon – another interesting Biblical character – said, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. And though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Unconscious competence is called talent. A talented person instinctively knows what to do. Knowing what to do is wisdom. Conscious competence is called skill. A skilled person has studied talented people long enough to figure out what they are unconsciously doing and why it works. Talented people know what to do. Skilled people know why to do it. Skilled people have understanding. Aim for understanding. Roy H. Williams

6m
May 16
What They Didn’t Teach Me at Oxford, I Learned in Jail

In his 3,000-year-old book, Ecclesiastes, King Solomon tells us of the stages and phases of his life, his fads and fancies, his regrets and realizations. Then he gives us his final conclusions and advice. Next to the Good News of John, Ecclesiastes is probably my favorite book in the Bible. Oscar Wilde wrote a similar summary of his stages and phases, fads and fancies, regrets and realizations in a private letter to his best and last and only friend. Later published as De Profundis, “From the Depths,” this 55,000-word letter shines with the unfiltered transparency of a man who has nothing but time, nothing to gain, and nothing to lose. Indy Beagle shared a couple of passages from De Profundis in last week’s rabbit hole. After receiving several happy emails from rabbit holers, Indy suggested that I give Oscar’s story a wider frame and take you on a deeper dive. Grab your scuba gear.As a young man, Oscar fell in love with a woman who dumped him to marry his more conservative childhood friend, Bram Stoker. So Oscar married another young woman who bore him two fine sons. He soon became flamboyantly famous as a comedic playwright, a social wit, a raconteur, and a writer of children’s stories.* Oscar Wilde was like Coca-Cola. He was everywhere. And then he went to prison for being gay. “The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease. I amused myself with being a flaneur, a dandy, a man of fashion. I surrounded myself with the smaller natures and the meaner minds. I became the spendthrift of my own genius, and to waste an eternal youth gave me a curious joy. Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in the search for new sensation.” “I had lost my name, my position, my happiness, my freedom, my wealth. I was a prisoner and a pauper. But I still had my children left. Suddenly they were taken away from me by the law. It was a blow so appalling that I did not know what to do, so I flung myself on my knees, and bowed my head, and wept, and said, ‘The body of a child is as the body of the Lord: I am not worthy of either.’ That moment seemed to save me. I saw then that the only thing for me was to accept everything. Since then—curious as it will no doubt sound—I have been happier.” “I want to get to the point when I shall be able to say quite simply, and without affectation that the two great turning-points in my life were when my father sent me to Oxford, and when society sent me to prison… I was so typical a child of my age, that in my perversity, and for that perversity’s sake, I turned the good things of my life to evil, and the evil things of my life to good.” “A man’s very highest moment is, I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast, and tells all the sins of his life. I am completely penniless, and absolutely homeless. Yet there are worse things in the world than that.” “Nobody is worthy to be loved. The fact that God loves man shows us that in the divine order of ideal things it is written that eternal love is to be given to what is eternally unworthy. Or if that phrase seems to be a bitter one to bear, let us say that everybody is worthy of love, except him who thinks he is.” “Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling. Where there is sorrow there is holy ground. Someday people will realize what that means.” “Indeed, that is the charm about Christ, when all is said: he is just like a work of art. He does not really teach one anything, but by being brought into his presence one becomes something. And everybody is predestined to his presence. Once at least in his life each man walks with Christ to Emmaus… [Christ] had an intense and flamelike imagination… He understood the leprosy of the leper, the darkness of the blind, the fierce misery of those who live for pleasure, the strange poverty

7m
May 09