Chapter 7 Wizard of Ads

Have you ever had to push a car?

Using your back and your legs and every ounce of strength you can summon, you gasp and strain and make faces as the doubt flickers through your mind: “I’m not sure I can do this.”

Then the car moves its first inch and you find strength you never knew you had. The second inch is slightly easier, but now you’re thinking, “I’m not sure I can last.”By the time you’ve moved it a yard, all doubts have fled. “Of course I can do this. I can do anything.” Soon you’re pushing just hard enough to keep the car rolling as you trot along behind it, basking in the applause of an imaginary crowd.

Launching an ad campaign is exactly like pushing a car. I believe there are laws of the universe that cannot be cheated and that these laws apply in every area of our lives. One of these is the law of inertia. My dictionary defines inertia as “the tendency of all objects and matter in the universe to stay still if still,or, if moving, to go on moving in the same direction.

”Your car doesn’t begin to roll the moment you begin to push, and it doesn’t stop rolling the moment you quit. The inertia that is your enemy at first becomes your ally in the end. Momentum is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? But it never comes cheaply. Likewise, advertising doesn’t begin to work as quickly as you would like, but it also doesn’t quit working until long after it has been abandoned. (Assuming, of course, that you ever got it rolling at all.)So where are you now? Are you trotting along behind the car, providing the nudge it needs to keep rolling, or are you still pushing with all your strength in an attempt to pick up speed?

If ever you find yourself straining and doubting, call your adman. He’s been waiting his whole life for the chance to help you push that car.

One thought on “Pushing a Car

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