Beer and diamonds…how to showcase your ‘uglies’


Recently I was walking past a popular bar near my house and the ad in the window said:

‘Over rated
Beer too cold
No empty seats’

The tag line: ‘Come in and see why 7% of people don’t like us’.

I love it – taking a negative and crafting it into a positive narrative, using humour and authenticity. An anti-ad ad.

In a hyped-up world, where most products pretend to be perfect, the ugly ducklings stand out. Especially uglies that are comfortable in their skin and craft it into a strength.

What does this have to do with diamonds you ask? In the Argyle diamond mines in Australia, the diamonds mined were all brown. A potential marketing catastrophe. Customers eagerly seek glistening white diamonds, known as Champagne diamonds. Might customers spurn what seemed like an inferior diamond, based on its colour? Urban legend has it that the global advertising company, Saatchi & Saatchi, were paid mega bucks to solve this challenge. They came up with the idea of calling brown diamonds, Cognac. So diamonds range from Champagne to Cognac. Sheer genius.

So what needs to be considered when we showcase our ‘uglies’?

  • It can’t be a ‘faux’ ugly. You know, like the interview candidate who, when asked for their weaknesses, says ‘Oh. I’m a perfectionist’. Right! Next. No, it’s got to be real – not fishing for compliments – that is just annoying and twee.
  • Don’t fake it. Don’t call attention to uglies that exist only in your imagination. A speaker might apologise for their accent when the audience is thinking, what accent?
  • Sometimes it’s OK to admit to an ugly – an undeniable one –acknowledge it (customers love honesty), and then switch to focus on a positive.

So how are you going to turn your uglies around? Please share I love hearing from you.

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2 Comments
  • Paul Matthews
    Reply

    Agree “uglies” are an opportunity. Often its hard to balance customer “pretties” when they impact as employee uglies. I really believe that by putting uglies out there we get more authenticity. It makes the story or message real in every way. That said the 7% example is not really an ugly when it is clearly used very well as a marketing pretty . If you see what I mean. I think the ugly in this case is not really an ugly.

    • Yamin
      Reply

      Paul knew you would pick me up on that! Grappled with this one. Thought saying find out why 7% don’t like us was more powerful
      & the ugly way of saying it. Rather than the conventional way of Find out why 93% like us. I know thin ice. Needs more robust thinking and thanks for challenging me. Love a robust discourse.

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