Confusion Is Not Good For Magic Or Marketing

This is a lesson about myself, a DJ, a open mic event & Toyota. Names have been omitted to protect the innocent. The story for this article begins in 2017. I was a year out of University and in the process of creating my first theatrical mind reading show (that never saw the light of day). In the library of Murray State University where I was writing the script & mapping out the stage plans on Windows Paint, I was approached by a local DJ. He sat down next to me and asked me what my secret was, why I was getting paid shows while he wasn’t. I asked him about his marketing & advertising campaign, he showed me his facebook page and it was unintentionally sending unnecessary red flags and mixed messages. He didn’t just call himself “DJ”, he included “Public Address Service”.

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I asked him what it all meant – everything and he didn’t have an answer. I won’t go into the unintentional red flags his facebook business page was sending, but the messages,words & images was a confusing tossed salad.

That same year, a local Open Mic was being hosted in various venues throughout our small city. Some of the facebook posts advertising the event was decent but a LOT were sacrificing clarity for humor & very few people, except the open mic “performers” showed up. The whole point of Open Mic is to showcase your works to potential paying client. NEVER EVER sacrifice clarity for humor. Clarity is incredibly important in marketing. Everything you say / write has to count. While YOU may think its clear, unless you are dealing with a clairvoyant, your attempt at humor can make the message unclear.

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Here is an example of a poorly worded, humor exchanged for clarity ad that I ran for a quasi-busking event. My metal bending act at the time was the main attraction but instead of using my real face, who I am & such, I decided to go with a image from the Matrix. As you can predict, the attendance was the worst I ever had and I actually lost money because I sacrificed clarity for humor.

Here is an example of a poorly worded, humor exchanged for clarity ad that I ran for a quasi-busking event. My metal bending act at the time was the main attraction but instead of using my real face, who I am & such, I decided to go with a image from the Matrix. As you can predict, the attendance was the worst I ever had and I actually lost money because I sacrificed clarity for humor.

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This is an example of an attempt at sacrificing clarity for cleverness. While this ad that I ran briefly in 2017 says the Who & What, the pictures and font create a incomprehensible soup that no one has the time or the attention span to read. This is an example of a failed ad, luckily I did’t lose that much dough.

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Here is an example of an effective & efficient ad. The top says WHAT, the middle says WHO & the bottoms says WHERE. The photos in the square maybe unnecessary in hindsight but the message on this ad is clear & to the point.

As I have covered in a earlier article; attention is a scarce resource. Not only is it scarce, its also very fleeting. Our brains evolved in such a way that we can only pay attention to one stimuli at a time for at least 8 seconds. Those 8 seconds are incredibly valuable for magicians & marketers alike. You have to make those 8 seconds count.

So what does all this have to do with magic? When you are designing a routine, you want to trea it exactly the same as you would your ads & marketing efforts – keep it simple, short & to the point. There is no need in adding anything extra or fancy. A card that changes color is a better magical routine than a 30 minute Ambitious Card Routine, or a routine with a LONG winding storyline with a lot happening. A 7 second TikTok magic video of a coin disappearing is far more effective than a 60 second magic video full of vanishes, color changes, appearances, teleportations & levitations. The EXCEPTION to this would be if the magic is only there to support a story, perhaps then a long routine maybe permissible, but with that – the story must be engaging.

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Toyota may not be the first automotive company, but it is by all accounts the best. Toyota revolutionized not only the automotive industry but the entire way we go about work. Toyota adopted the Lean Six Sigma philosophy to eliminate waste and increase efficiency & productivity. Dyson, Whirlpool, Walt Disney Company, and myself have all followed Toyota’s footsteps.

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How do you get more done with less effort? Lean Six Sigma. You can use this principle in your marketing and advertising strategies. Look at your message. Is there anything in there that is just fluff? If yes, take it out. Is there anything in there that can be misinterpreted? If so, take it out or replace it. Does the content of the ad bring any value or does it take away value? If it takes away – replace it or remove it.

In my show writing process, I look at EVERY word, every semicolon, every period – everything! Does anything add value? Does anything take away value? Is anything just unnecessary fluff? I would much rather have a 60 minute show that ends 5 minutes early than a 60 minute show that ends 5 minutes too late & most audience members would too!

Look through your ads and marketing material and see where any possible confusion may reside & fix it!

Published by Jordan Allen

Hello there, I am Jordan Allen & I can't wait to give you a FUN magical EXPERIENCE!

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