Simon Sinek expresses in his TED talk the importance of starting with ‘why’. One part of his talk that really resonated with me was his idea that “people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it” and this is completely true. Consumers buy Apple products because they see and understand what Steve Jobs envisioned. Consumers shop at Whole Foods because they believe in the importance of organic foods. “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it”; shouldn’t this be one of the fundamentals of marketing. Starting with why in an advertisement would attract more people or consumers to your product or service then, right? Let’s take a look at a few of the advertisements in the Daily Targum to see if they “start with why”.
The advertisement I looked at was for OCSA or the Off-Campus Students’ Association. The ad for OCSA starts with the benefits of joining the organization or why you should join the organization.
“If you’re interested in getting more involved on campus, building your resume, and enhancing your leadership skills, the Off-Campus Students’ Association may be the organization for you!”
Although it talks about the benefits of the organization it does not show their vision, mission or purpose. It does not say what they are either. After doing a little research on their website, I found out who OCSA is, their purpose and mission.
The second advertisement I looked at was the RUPA ad for “Generation Me” which is a lecture with Dr. Jean Twenge who is the author of the New Humanities Reader, the required text for Expository Writing, a terrible requirement for all Rutgers students. Tells the reader exactly why they should attend this RUPA event; to see what the author of the book that every student dreads at one time or another and what she has to say about today’s generations and how they can succeed in the increasingly competitive world. I believe that this ad effectively communicates why the reader should attend this event and the benefits that he or she would get out of it.
The last advertisement that I looked at was a Rutgers ad for the Symposium on “Science and Technology in Contemporary China: Advancements and Challenges in the Era of Globalization”. This advertisement does not start with why and does not talk about anything except where and when the Symposium is. There is no reason why I should attend this event or the purpose, or mission. The advertisement does not start with why, it simply states what and where. There also is no where.
Starting with why is the most beneficial way for the reader to understand the purpose, mission and cause of the advertisement. As you can see, some organizations do start with why and some do not. So I challenge you next time someone asks you about your student organization; start with why.