Bill: Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun
Lorenzo: Are you getting ready to go?
Bill: Welcome to another episode of the Brand Brothers.
Lorenzo: Yes, Brother Lorenzo.
Bill: Brother Bill.
Lorenzo: Good morning to you. Even though its afternoon, but you know we’re show business people. So, we get up at 2:00. 2:00 or 3:00.
Bill: The Bran brothers are here. Remember why we’re here to fight the… oh geez.
Lorenzo: That’s right. Take two.
Bill: Take two. Okay Brother Lorenzo, this is Brother Bill author of too many great books; more than I can count. I can’t even remember them, that’s how great we are. I think I wrote, Gone with the Wind.
Lorenzo: Yeah. That was my favorite of your books.
Bill: No, I wrote, the Indian. The version that was printed in India was called, Gandhi with the Windy. It was a little bit different one, but I was a best smelling author. But anyway, we’re here to fight the evil forces of fake branding.
Lorenzo: So we can make brands great again.
Bill: Yes, as we ride into the east from the west.
Lorenzo: We’re doing God’s work.
Bill: We are. We’re on a mission from God. So Lorenzo, today’s show is about what?
Lorenzo: Framing. I’m particularly excited about this, because when you do it its almost like a Jedi mind trick. Once we explain it to our brand family out there.
Bill: Well it is. It’s the magic of actually changing the mind, the only way a mind can be changed.
Lorenzo: That’s right, framing. So, kick us off because you have one of my favorite lines about defining it. So, what is it?
Bill: Well. Okay the way to define framing; you know we always try to break all these complex ideas down to very simple memorial micro scripts, and the way we define it is that framing is telling a different story with the same set of facts. Okay.
Lorenzo: We are going to give you some amazing examples later.
Bill: Right, right.
Lorenzo: But you once told me that, in order to really understand framing; the building block of it is story.
Bill: Well it is. You tell a story, and the story makes the frame, and then you want to remember the frame with one little micro script that triggers that frame in your head. But, just if you understand what we mean by telling a different story with the same set of facts lets just look at our current politics in the United States. Extraordinary political times we’re in. There’s the same set of facts out there, half the country thinks that President Trump is the greatest thing, the greatest leader, the greatest president of all times; and half the country thinks the opposite.
Bill: Well, that’s the same set of facts, the same speeches, the same tweets, the same everything different stories …
Lorenzo: That’s true.
Bill: Completely different stories because of…
Lorenzo: The power of framing!
Bill: That’s right. Because one party is framed and is one thing is evil in [inaudible 00:02:44] and the other one said see this, it actually represents the greatest opportunity for America to make America great again. So that’s what framing does.
Bill: But always with the same set of facts.
Lorenzo: So tell us about the glory days when … the days when branding was great. Back in the days when you were coming up to the ranks of Ted Bates. They did a couple of things, but it was all around story.
Bill: You mean Mad Man days?
Lorenzo: The old Mad Man, absolutely!
Bill: Okay. Well, back in good old Mad Man days they hired ya, ya came in and they never told ya what to do. They never told ya how to do it. They never gave ya-
Lorenzo: There was no orientation?
Bill: Nothing! There was no orientation. There was nothing. You just had to learn on your own. And that was back when America was great! So I wanted-
Lorenzo: Haha figure it out!
Bill: I wanted to be successful and I would ask people and every now and then you get a little nugget of some information from your boss. They didn’t have any more time than that. So my boss, Mark Schwatka.
Lorenzo: The Great Schwatka?
Bill: We may be able to get The Great Schwatka on this show as a guest.
Lorenzo: Oh! Of course we can!
Bill: So, I want all of you out there to write in. Schwatka! He’ll never leave his cave on Long Island, Great Neck, Long Island but we might get him out of there to be on our show.
But Schwatka once said that “Well, an idea in advertising is to say what you thought you knew is really something else”. And that’s all he ever said. But Ted Bates was the tagline agency. The one that came up with “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” and “Wonder Bread”, “Build Strong Bodies” and “Rolaids spells relief”. These guys were the guys, cause Rosser Reeves was the chairman that invented these great, great taglines. But when Frolick or my boss’s boss would say “Here write this thing”, he never said write us a tagline. He said tell us a story. And the question is “Why is that?”
And then another micro script we would hear go around, I’d talk to other copywriters and they’d say well “Show me a picture. Tell me a story.” and that’s all they’d say. What the hell did they mean?
So one day, Frolick said “Look, you can tell a man…you can tell someone for two hours, every single feature and benefit and wonderful life-changing result of their product of service and then 10 minutes later, they’ll forget 99% of what you said. But tell a person a story and they’ll come back 20 years later and they’ll repeat it word for word.”
Lorenzo: I think that what’s so amazing about that example is that in today’s society, especially with the explosion of start-ups. I feel like so many start-up pitches are just featured data, data, data. Right? Market share. And I’ve never remembered a single PowerPoint…data point from a PowerPoint.
Lorenzo: But the guys that will tell you a story, why they’re doing it, why they were in pain, why they started the company.
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: Those are the guys that actually have the edge because so much of the elevator pitch is just a bunch of nonsense. Right? They’re not telling you a story.
Bill: And so the question is, why are stories so powerful? A lot of people…you hear people talk about it. They never tell you why well the Brand Brothers are here to tell you exactly why those stories are so important.
We’ll start off, remember President Ronald Regan, they called him the Great Communicator. Ronald Regan never started speech…he’d tell you a story. He’d be about to tell a boring speech about something… The Unilateral Disarmament Treaty. He’s start by telling the audience a story about a little girl in a yellow dress. When I say a little girl in a yellow dress, you’re already mesmerized!
Bill: You’re already seeing a picture!
Lorenzo: That’s right.
Bill: You see a little girl, you see a little girl in your imagination and then it turns out that that little girl was barefoot and she was alone. And she was calling out but no one was answering. You see, he’d start telling a story. And everybody forgot…he had them mesmerized because stories do hypnotize you.
Bill: And they put you into that mindset. But it turns out as you study this, Robert McCee made this-
Lorenzo: The Great…yeah!
Bill: McCee was who wrote the greatest course about writing movies ever. He said “you gotta think about how much story is consumed on the planet…on the earth and any global day”. Literally billions of dollars worth of story. People pay for stories to be consumed. They pay for newspapers, novels, movies, television shows in every single culture. And every time they pay because it turns out…and stories is how…before they had writing or anything else. It’s the only way that knowledge was communicated up through the generations.
Bill: The reason is that we have a psychic need to hear stories. A psychic need that’s probably as important as our need to drink water and breathe the air. We got to consume story. Mothers tell their little babies stories to go to sleep at night. Right? We tell each other…and we literally need these stories.
So it follows that if you got something to tell someone, tell them a story. What the Brand Brothers are here to tell you is you gotta make that story very cogent. It’s gotta be about something you sell and then you gotta be able to boil it down into about a sentence or less.
Lorenzo: And to me, that’s the ultimate. When you’ve reached the pinnacle and you can package it in a sentence, it’s the most dense story you can tell.
Bill: But here’s another thing about stories cause we did…when we wrote Mike’s [inaudible 00:08:16] and Lorenzo didn’t actually but I was channeling Lorenzo the whole time! The whole time!
Lorenzo: I was rooting for you.
Bill: Well Lorenzo was writing the forward.
Hey listen! If Trump can fire Tillerson in a tweet, I can tell you on the air that you’re writing the forward of the next book.
Lorenzo: I’m honored.
Bill: No, we can’t. He had McCaid or whatever his name call Lorenzo and tell him about the forward.
Lorenzo: Hahahaha. But I think to your previous point, I’ve noticed that when you do public speaking…
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: If you look at an audience and say “Let me tell you a story” they get more relaxed.
Bill: Well not only that-
Lorenzo: I mean their body changes like “Oh well I’m not listening to a stuffy lecture”
Bill: Well no listen to this. If I say to you… if I say “Let me tell you a story” do you know that people are already mesmerized?
Bill: You cannot not listen to a story that’s being told.
Lorenzo: It’s so true.
Bill: This is neuroscience now! People are figuring out how the different neurons connect-
Lorenzo: If you wanna test it, go to a restaurant and say it loudly to the person you’re with “Let me tell you a story” and the table next to you is gonna start listening in.
Bill: Oh yeah, yeah!
Lorenzo: I guarantee.
Bill: “Oh you’re not gonna believe this story. Let me tell ya!” There’s no one that’s not gonna listen. No one!
But here’s the other thing, there’s another reason for this. One of the reasons is that every one of us, every human being and think about this, you brothers and sisters out there…that every day we wake up in the morning and basically we tell ourselves a story. We walk around all day telling us a story, ourselves.
Bill: We say “This is who I am. This is what I know to be true.” Right? When I look at other people or I judge other things, I’m telling myself stories about those things and because through story, we make sense of our world. And the reason we have to make sense of our world is because the greatest fear…this is the greatest fear of all, the Navy Seals will tell you this, by the way. The greatest fear of all is the fear of the unknown.
Bill: It is…fear of humiliation is bad.
Bill: Fear of death! But death is the grand, mother of all unknowns. Right?
Lorenzo: Right. Yeah.
Bill: Completely! So it’s the fear of the unknown and I have a story, I have a sense of security but when that story is shaken up, when I’m confused, when I don’t know what’s going on all of a sudden that story is shattered and I’m telling you people are…human beings are instinctively terrified…
Bill: Of being-
Lorenzo: Bad things happen!
Bill: And that’s why they will…once they have their story, they will cling to it.
Lorenzo: Hell or high water!
Bill: That’s right. It’s why when they love brands, they have a story in their head. Remember what happened with classic Coke versus…when they tried to make new Coke?
Lorenzo: Haha. Yeah! Oh my gosh.
Bill: America went nuts!
Lorenzo: Yeah, yeah.
Bill: They went nuts! Cause, NO!
Bill: You tried to change the story. We don’t want you to change our brands.
Bill: So people hold onto it very…so that’s the thing, that’s why stories are so critical.
Lorenzo: Also in his epic book, Reality in Advertising, Ross Reeves said this, “Once you have that story planted, change it maybe in 50 years, maybe”.
Bill: Yeah that’s right! Later on in upcoming shows, we’re gonna talk about the big traps, the big myths.
Bill: And some of the biggest things to avoid.
Bill: The 12 ammeter mistakes.
Lorenzo: Yeah. One of them is when that agency says “You know it’s time to refresh”.
Bill: Right. Right. Changing your brand too often cause you’re just cutting down your own trees but they take a little while to grow and flourish.
But getting back to the framing. Remember we talked about framing? So all a frame is what our mind does is we take a set of facts and we put it in a little box in our mind. And the story is the vehicle for doing that.
Bill: So if for example, I’m gonna give ya…well tell us the terrorists story.
Lorenzo: Man. That’s my favorite one. Well, you know I read it in your book and I thought to myself “this is an inside”. Because it was two radically opposing thoughts. So the terrorists…so you and I would say “Man that guys a terrorist over there” but on his side of the fence, he’s looking at his friends and family going “I’m a freedom fighter”.
Lorenzo: And all of a sudden now he has an inspiring story.
Lorenzo: To him it’s a higher calling.
Lorenzo: And for me I’m terrified of him.
Bill: And the Revolutionary War. Look at…Americans were patriots. Americans were heroes. Americans created the greatest democracy of all times. What do you think they were calling us in England at that time?
Lorenzo: The Crown said “These traitors”.
Bill: Criminals. Terrorists. Traitors to the Crown.
Lorenzo: Yup. Yup.
Bill: Every bad thing you can say. So same set of facts, same thing, same people but different stories.
Bill: But the frame comes up and the frame is kind of a shorthand. The frame is “Okay, I’m putting him in this box. This is a good box versus a bad box”. Right?
Lorenzo: Right. Right.
Bill: What are some other ones, Lorenzo? We can pick up our notes every now and then can’t we?
Lorenzo: Yeah of course.
Bill: I mean cause we are making this up as we go along.
Lorenzo: We do what we want! It’s our hot bodies.
Bill: Well, yeah! Here’s another one. In advertising…one of my favorites, “Pork is the other white meat”
Lorenzo: That’s a great one!
Lorenzo: And I’m sure there’s some amazing story about how their sales were abysmal and after that reframe it just went through the roof.
Bill: So what’s the reframe? The frame is common knowledge. Conventional wisdom. Pork tastes good but man it’s bad for you.
Bill: Bacon is bad! Even thought it tastes real good.
Lorenzo: Not according to the big fat surprise!
Bill: Sorry. Keep going.
Lorenzo: Yeah, okay! There you go. The Ketogenic diet.
Bill: That’s another story!
Lorenzo: It’s a reframe.
Bill: But yeah, bacon is bad for you. Bacon is this. Bacon is saturated fats, okay. And then some really smart branding person said “No, you wanna know something?” And you really look at the facts…see the facts might be different but people won’t believe you.
Bill: So you gotta give them a little way to frame it. Remember, tell a little story about it. He said “You’re not gonna believe this but pork is actually…compared to beef and compared to other things, pork can be very lean, it’s low in calories and look at the color! There’s a reason it’s also light white. Pork is the other white meat.”
Lorenzo: How can you not by that?
Bill: How can you not remember it?!
Bill: And they great thing about these little micro scripts and frames is people use them all the time. The other night…well it was a little while ago, okay…I walked in and the waiter sold me on the pork special versus having the lasagna. And he said “Try the pork!” And I said “Ahhh I’m on my diet.” He said “Don’t ya know?” Then they stop. They pause like you’ve never heard this before. They go “Don’t ya know, pork is the other white meat.” And as one of our Brand Brother principles, you must always reward good salesmanship.
Lorenzo: Oh yeah you should.
Lorenzo: You have to order the pork now.
Bill: Well pork…that reframe changed everything. It was world famous. Everybody remembered. It was great. I started eating more pork…see it gave you permission to eat it!
Lorenzo: That’s right.
Bill: Cause ya always wanted to eat it. But wait, there’s one other thing…remember talking about stories?
Now here’s the rest of the story. Because we can tell you another moral here too. That was a great story and a great reframe. Then came along the forces of fake branding. This is the evil force that the Brand Brother’s are here to save America from and save you brothers and sisters.
Lorenzo: The dark side.
Bill: From the evils of fake branding.
Lorenzo: The [inaudible 00:16:00] lords of branding.
Bill: The pork board hired a new CMO.
Lorenzo: Oh no.
Bill: We know where that’s going right?
Lorenzo: Wah. Wah.
Bill: And she decided that pork was the other white meat.
Lorenzo: For some of our viewers out there, CMO is a Chief Marketing Officer.
Bill: Right. She came in to market the brand and like so many Chief Marketing Officers, the biggest problem with it was…the excuse she made was “Well it’s tired. It’s old.”
Bill: “It needs to be refreshed.”
Lorenzo: Which by the way, let’s reframe that. That’s just another way of saying “I need to leave my mark.”
Bill: Yeah, right. It wasn’t invented here and it’s also the biggest…it’s one of the ammeter mistakes we’re gonna talk about. What did Rosser Reeves do? Rosser Reeves…
Lorenzo: It’s timeless. Don’t mess with it. Let the trees grow.
Bill: Exactly. Exactly and it worked and will keep on working because it was beautiful and memorable.
She ended up changing…so they do 6 months of focus groups…she ended up changing it to…she changed it from “Pork is the other white meat” to “Pork. Be inspired.”
Lorenzo: Come on!
Bill: Okay, now honestly…
Lorenzo: What does that mean?
Bill: My plumber could have that tagline. Honestly, couldn’t they?
Lorenzo: Get inspired! It flushes every time!
Bill: Sure, get inspired. How about…I mean really “Pork. Be inspired.” Okay, I’m glad! How about chicken? But I’m not inspired by chicken.
Lorenzo: I’m sure she got paid a handsome half a mil for that. For that garbage.
Bill: When I’m at at the restaurant and I see those lobsters swimming around in there, those beautiful lobsters. I’m inspired.
Lorenzo: My tummy is inspired.
Bill: Exactly! It’s incredible. When I see the Grand Canyon, I’m inspired. It’s meaningless.
Lorenzo: But the reason the story is so important is because here you have a great example of how reframing saved a product and then if you’re not diligent…
Bill: And fake branding!
Lorenzo: And then…snuck in again and ruined it.
Bill: The evil force of…
Lorenzo: Which is why if you’re out there, or branding family out there, you’re gonna meet some sith lord branding agency. They’re gonna pull this BS on you and you have to slap them in the face with this episode.
Bill: Well that’s what we’re doing. We’re arming you with the truth.
Lorenzo: That’s right.
Bill: This is what we’re here to do. And we’re also arming you with the understanding of what fake branding is and what it’s not, because there’s so many people in the industry that are gonna throw it at you and we’re gonna remind you that true branding is first of all, what the Brand Brothers tell you. And second of all, it’s common sense.
Bill: It’s common sense and you know what else it is? Honestly, it’s humility.
Bill: It’s humility because…well we’re the most humble people in the world, you and I.
Lorenzo: I’m amazingly humble.
Bill: But it’s the humility to say you know something, it’s not just what I think it is, it’s not what my gut says.
Lorenzo: Yeah but we get [crosstalk 00:18:45] these principles have been out there.
Lorenzo: We’re just observing what has worked.
Bill: You don’t have to…by the way that’s gonna Segway to another show. We’re gonna talk about who are the brand titans themselves. We talk about the brand titans. We’ll get a little show about who they really were, back in the days. You don’t have to…we’re not making up any of these principles. These principles are all there for the taking.
Lorenzo: That’s right.
Bill: But they have to be remembered, not covered over by the evil forces.
Lorenzo: By people with cool logos and turtlenecks!
Bill: Okay the agency is gonna come in.
Bill: You’re gonna have about 5 people flown in from New York, maybe. Okay? You’re gonna have one…
Lorenzo: You could throw in a British person, always sophisticated.
Bill: What do you mean? You have to have one!
Bill: You’re gonna have a couple people, the account guys, their the happy guys. Usually they’re in coats…well-
Lorenzo: Very handsome.
Bill: But they’re wearing jackets, no ties anymore. There’s one guy or gal in a black turtleneck, wearing a black-
Lorenzo: Hip glasses.
Bill: She’s wearing black glasses, she’s got black lipstick, she’s wearing a black blazer. [crosstalk 00:19:51] She’s probably black. I don’t know! The point is, completely because that means creative!
Lorenzo: I’m so creative, you couldn’t understand…
Bill: And then they also have a lead…you have to have a British assistant. Or a British…you do, you do and that’s the formula and then they come in and tell you “Well, we actually believe that strategy is dead. Strategy. We don’t believe in strategy and we don’t believe in your…we like to tell our customers that don’t really concentrate or focus on your product, you really should forget about that-
Lorenzo: “Yeah actually we hate your product.”
Bill: “Your product is boring”
Lorenzo: “If you hate it, then customers will love it. It’s reverse psychology…we’re gonna reverse psychology your product into a success.”
Bill: It’s beyond belief. It’s beyond belief. When the great brand titans would say anybody, like we said anybody can get page views. I can light a cat on fire and send him across the street, not that I would do that. And you can get a million people to look at it but the hard thing is to make that product the most interesting thing that-
Lorenzo: To sell it!
Bill: In that 30 seconds that can possibly…and that’s hard.
Bill: But that’s what they did and that’s what you need to do. If you got a company, believe me you want your product to do THAT! And not distract from everything else.
Lorenzo: So let’s dive into some more good examples. I love the pork one. That frame is amazing.
Bill: Well we talked in earlier shows the Patagonian Tooth Fish.
Lorenzo: The most epic reframe of all time.
Bill: Now that’s just a frame and a name.
Bill: Sometimes that’s all you need is a name change.
Bill: Remember we said, what is John Wayne or George Clooney’s name was Dick Trickle?
Bill: Why do you think Hollywood changed the name? Archibald Cocks.
Bill: No, Archibald Leach. Archie Leach. They said “You know Archie Leach is okay but we’re gonna change your name to Kerry Grant.”
Bill: Hollywood always understood this. Always understood this, right? But the Patagonian Tooth Fish was that wonderful fish from Patagonia that nobody would eat because it had such a horrible sounding name and then some smart branding person said “Why don’t we call it Chilean Sea Bass?” And from that point on, like I said it was like a fish with an IV league degree. Who wouldn’t want to eat it? It was just great.
What’s another one?
Oh! Here’s another reframe.
Let’s talk about fire. Right, what’s fire?
Lorenzo: Yeah! No, no walk us through it.
Bill: Well, I mean one person tells a story and says fire… Smokey the Bear. Right? Smokey the Bear would tell you “Fire destroys the forest. It burns down your home. It kills animals. It’s a killer. It’s a dangerous, deadly thing and you’ve gotta teach your children to avoid fire. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Stop, drop and roll. Fire is this evil force.” Okay? And is that right? In his context.
But another person will say with another frame will say “But wait a minute. But fire is also the giver of life. Fire is how you cook your food and feed your family. Fire is how you warm your home so you don’t freeze in the winter time. Fire is the thing that lights…it used to be the thing that lit the steam in the engines and created the Industrial Revolution.”
All it is, is a different frame for the same thing. But you see the power of the frame.
Lorenzo: Actually one of the best frames that I love recently was “Coca Cola’s acquisition of Topachico“. Let’s just think about this, right? When I was growing up, you’d go to Mexico and people would say “Do not drink the water. You’re not used to it. It’s gonna make you sick.” And then Topachico comes along and says “Oh, we’re gonna bottle it and we’re gonna charge you a premium to drink our water”. And it’s so popular then all of a sudden Coca Cola buys it.
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lorenzo: They just reframed water.
Bill: Look at how easy it is to frame the story. So you sit there and say “Oh god, Mexican water. You can’t drink it”. Right? It’s full of all this stuff and everyone’s going “Yeah, yeah don’t drink the water.”
But let me tell you a little funny thing. The thing that makes it so…the reason is because it has all kinds of minerals and all kinds and various bacteria and stuff.
Bill: But if you put it through a…if you just boil it and just take away that problem, what’s really left behind that people don’t realize is the most nutritious, delicious, mineral laden water in the world.
Lorenzo: And it’s from Mexico so it’s cultural.
Lorenzo: You’re being cultural when you’re drinking it.
Lorenzo: You roll your eyes. Rrrrrrrrrr.
Bill: Right. So all of a sudden you say “that Mexican water”, sure it used to be in the old days…or people thought because they weren’t used to it but what you don’t understand is if you just take that away in the simplest way…all it is…you know what homogenizing milk is?
Bill: They just boil milk.
Lorenzo: Oh yeah.
Bill: No I’m sorry, pasteurizing milk. Excuse me. Louie Pasture, one of the most famous…all he did was boil it and milk is the safest thing in the world. Milk used to kill people!
Lorenzo: That’s crazy!
Bill: Well you see it’s the same thing. A simple little heating of the Mexican water turns it into this magical elixir.
Lorenzo: Right. Right.
Bill: You don’t say “You’re story isn’t wrong. The water is…you don’t wanna drink the water until…”
Lorenzo: Right. That’s right.
Bill: Until Topachico makes that little change.
Lorenzo: It’s my favorite.
Bill: And you wanna pay 10 dollars a glass.
Lorenzo: Yeah, of course and then you get addicted to it.
Bill: Oh, the magic!
Lorenzo: Yeah and then Coca Cola quires you for a billion dollars.
Bill: That’s right. That’s right.
Lorenzo: This too, could be the end of your story, Brand family.
Bill: I thought you were talking about me like I was getting fired right here.
Lorenzo: No, no. Look they’re gonna try to buy us for a billion dollars but we’re [crosstalk 00:25:36]
Bill: Well yeah, yeah!
Here’s another little one. The Navy. “It’s not a job. It’s an adventure.”
Lorenzo: So Hemingway.
Bill: But [inaudible 00:25:44] frame right in the line.
Lorenzo: Actually, can we talk about our favorite adventure, Shackleton and his amazing advertisement? He reframed the deadliest adventure of all time.
Bill: Yeah, I know. It was actually the greatest classified ad ever written.
Lorenzo: That’s right.
Bill: And I can’t remember it. Thanks Lorenzo!
Lorenzo: Oh, you’re looking at me! [crosstalk 00:26:04]
Bill: “Men wanted for hazardous journey.”
Actually let’s pull it up.
Lorenzo: Look it up! Look it up!
And while he’s doing that I’m gonna hum a little framings tune.
Bill: Okay, here it is! Here it is!
Lorenzo: So, Ernest Shackleton, some would argue the greatest leader. The greatest [crosstalk 00:26:21]
Bill: Greatest Leader of Men, yeah of all time.
Lorenzo: And so he reframed going on a near death experience…going on a journey, unlikely to come back. Put out the most amazing ad. Here it is: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return? Doubtful. Honor and recognition, incase of success.”
Bill: Lorenzo, I just had another heart attack [crosstalk 00:26:54]
Lorenzo: I did too. I browned out.
Bill: What an amazing thing. Yeah!
Lorenzo: I mean, who wants to go on such a horrible, dangerous adventure? But if you frame it that way, then I too, can be-
Bill: Well right. A horrible, dangerous treck that’s most likely you’re gonna die from.
Bill: And he made it authentic by saying… he didn’t say we’re gonna succeed. He’s saying your probably gonna die but if you’re man enough…if we succeed.
Lorenzo: Well in a change of the frame, he appealed to the sense of adventure.
Bill: Well right.
Lorenzo: He appealed to the story, like you said. He gave you a story and actually the tale is how many people responded?
Bill: Yeah, well he thought that no one would answer the ad and apparently there was 4,000 people lined up…I’m not kidding!
Lorenzo: Haha that’s awesome.
Bill: Lined up around the door. Turned out that men wanted that kind of adventure more than anything in the world.
Yeah the thing about these stories is…and then you think well a story…usually in selling. There was a problem. There’s a very simple…it’s kind of almost like a four step sequence for these kind of stories. There was a problem…here, wait. Once upon a time the world was like this but there was a problem.
Bill: Then someone came along to fix it. They did this, this and this. Now, the world has changed. Now it’s better.
Bill: And look at all the ways that you’re life is better with this product and that’s introducing. So that’s the way those stories…it’s problem solution. We take some pain away. But the thing is you don’t have to…it’s not a long story necessarily.
Bill: It can be one of…favorite thing is people think “Well I can’t do that with my product” and then remember when Ernest Hemingway said “I can tell you whole novel in 6 words”. Right? “For sale, baby shoes never worn.”
Lorenzo: Don’t start, I almost cry every time.
Bill: Well but look at Shackleton and the classified ad.
Lorenzo: It really is…when you see it done, it’s like a work of art.
Bill: You can tell an amazing story in a minute, you can sometimes tell it in a sentence. But what we’re saying is that when you understand that framing is what changes the way the brain thinks.
Bill: And the brain demands if you want me to change my mind, you have to reframe it. You have to give me a different story or I’m not gonna listen to you.
Bill: I can’t bear to change my mind. You give him that frame…it can be short. Just enough to change the mind, like “It’s not a job. It’s an adventure.” Look what that does to someone thinking about joining the Navy.
Lorenzo: I wanna propose one that I think has gone through an amazing reframe of it’s brand. Which is brussel sprouts. Right? When I was growing up…
Bill: OH jeez.
Lorenzo: I never had a Brussels sprout and I would only see pictures of it boiled and sloppy and it looked gross. I didn’t have a brussel sprout til I was 30 years old. And I was taken to this amazing hipster, cool, chef bistro kitchen.
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: And then they brought out this amazing baked with bacon and all kinds of chipotle mayonnaise brussel sprouts and it blew my mind.
Lorenzo: But what happened was all of a sudden it became the cool dish that amazing new chefs were toying with.
Lorenzo: They were experimenting with, which is…I think the old brand used to be during the war we just have to boil brussel sprouts and you gotta eat them cause that’s they way to live.
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: And it’s just gone a transformation and now I can’t get enough of them.
Bill: Yeah, here’s what I’m thinking though. I’m thinking that if you were a little kid and you ever had to eat a brussel sprout, you would have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and you’re brain would be locked into hating that taste and you could never have them again.
Bill: I think that because so many mothers don’t make their kids ever touch a stinking brussel sprout…god do they stink! I mean it’s the worst thing. They smell, they smell up the whole house. I know. I’m not biased, there’s no bias here.
Bill: But I hate those things.
Lorenzo: Haha. I’m not biased but they’re bad people! Brussels sprouts are bad people!
Bill: I’m gonna put Agent Orange on the brussel sprout farms.
Lorenzo: I’m telling you go into your local hipster restaurant and they’re there.
Lorenzo: They’re on the menu.
Bill: But that’s what I mean, if you already don’t have this traumatic childhood from eating them.
Bill: So now you come in as a hippie, millennial college kid and now they say “Oh we got Brussels sprouts on the menu”…they don’t taste bad anymore!
Lorenzo: Yeah cause they did all that stuff to them!
Bill: That’s right.
Lorenzo: Actually, another example, what we were talking about with our amazing producer, Michael before the show, was wrap music. We had a long debate about wrap music.
Bill: Oh yeah.
Lorenzo: And it’s not everybody’s taste.
Lorenzo: And one of the things…I actually didn’t get into it very late and I’m very picky.
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: But what I realized is the great wrappers are actually amazing storytellers.
Lorenzo: Right? You think “Oh what is this rubbish?” Actually as my mom used to say “Don’t listen to wrap music! They’re telling you to kill the cops and do the drugs. Kill the cops and do the drugs.”
Bill: Well that’s kind of what I would tell ya.
Lorenzo: Well yeah!
Bill: See that’s my bias.
Lorenzo: But I tell ya when I first bought the Notorious B.I.G’s Life After Death, there’s a song in there…
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: That’s as good as any Quinton Terrentino movie. Where he’s describing a drug deal gone wrong…
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: And I feel like I’m watching that on the big screen.
Bill: Okay, so what you did was…and I did, I stopped and I listened to you. You said what you thought was one thing is something else.
Lorenzo: That’s right.
Bill: Cause we had this before we started the show today and you said “Look I know how you feel about wrap music, a lot of people think it’s thug music. It glorifies this awful stuff but you believe in stories, Bill! And some of these rapers are the greatest storytellers of all time. You should listen.” You know what you did? You opened my mind.
Lorenzo: Changed the frame!
Bill: You didn’t say you’re wrong.
Lorenzo: Of course. Never.
Bill: Don’t tell anyone they’re wrong. Tell them your story, yeah that’s one way but here’s another way that you could think about it [crosstalk 00:32:40]
Lorenzo: Yeah let’s add to the story.
Bill: Can I ask to one little frame?
Bill: So there was the day I had my office in my home, I still do. It was my favorite man cave there ever was and I had a leather couch and I had some okay furniture and stuff and my pens and papers and magic markers in there. It was my place. I spent a fair amount of money, it was my stuff. And one day my sister…my wife invited her sister over with her 4 year old! Nick. Nick the nephew. And when I was away, I went out for a little while and came back. Nick found his way into my office.
Lorenzo: Oh no!
Bill: And you know what he went right for because he was drawn like a magnet. It took him 13 pico seconds to find the indelible magic markers. Funny how they do that, isn’t it?
Lorenzo: Yeah and they can smell it. They know.
Bill: He didn’t pick up book and read it!
Lorenzo: I was gonna say he went straight for the [crosstalk 00:33:43][inaudible 00:33:43]
Bill: No! He didn’t vacuum the rug. No he didn’t do that! No. He found the indelible magic marker and he started to write all over my tables and my leather couch and anyway… I got home and I walked in and it took me 2 seconds to realize what had happened. And I homicidal impulses. Even to this little kid. And I called my wife, I said “How could you leave the door open? You knew he was here. This is a disaster, I’m really upset.” And she said “I know but you know what, he love you! He said he was just trying to make you a present. He was drawing pictures for you. He wanted you to be happy.”
Lorenzo: Come on!
Bill: She did! And then all of a sudden I’m sitting there and a little kid walks up and goes “Hi uncle Billy! I make a picture for you!” What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? You can’t be mad.
Lorenzo: No you can’t.
Bill: You can’t be mad! There’s a little kid…he’s trying to give me a present. You feel sorry for him! You start kissing him!
Lorenzo: In my passive aggressiveness, I would have been like “You know you could have drawn that picture [crosstalk 00:34:52]”
Bill: Well no, I banned him!
Lorenzo: Your circles are crooked!
Bill: Haha. I did, I banned him from my home until he was 21. But it’s a little reframe.
Lorenzo: That’s right. It’s a little reframe.
Bill: So as we talk about this, you gotta understand brothers and sisters out there, that these simple little principles…a brand is about letting someone understand there’s something that can make…a product that makes your life better! There’s something you need to think about, you need to know about, you need to buy.
Lorenzo: So Bill, I have question-
Bill: But these little principles, we’re gonna tell you more and more about how to do them as we go along. But they’re not difficult.
Bill: They’re simple principles.
Lorenzo: So here’s my question, so many companies out there especially in the social media age, they will…I don’t know if this is framing, is really what I’m asking. When someone says “Oh my new product is like the Facebook for blah, blah…it’s like LinkedIn, Facebook for backpacks. It’s like Uber for backpacks. It’s backpack sharing!”
Are they in their own weird, demented way reframing for me? Is that what they’re doing?
Bill: Well, okay kids. And Lorenzo if I may…my brother.
Lorenzo: No, yeah yeah!
Bill: We’re telling them how we just found each other on ancestry.com one of these days?
Lorenzo: Of course!
Bill: Talk about reframing, they did the commercial where I swear to god…they got them on TV and you see them now…one was an Irish Catholic lady from Boston, an Irish Catholic lady said “I went on ancestry.com and I was amazed I found out I’m an Eskimo! I’m an Eskimo! It’s opened up my whole world! I go to the girls down in [inaudible 00:36:32] I say girls [inaudible 00:36:35] a cup of coffee! You know I’m an Eskimo!” [crosstalk 00:36:40]
Lorenzo: I’ll take two!
Bill: “I’m telling ya, it’s amazing!”
So but that’s a dramatic thing.
Bill: The thing about….remember we say that the brand happens for people when the brand performs.
Bill: So, in your advertising, in your message, in your branding and all the things we’re talking about…but all of it is just an invitation to try the brand and have the brand work.
Bill: And Rosser Reeves used to say “The most important money you could ever spend on your brand is improve your product.” Always.
Bill: So, if someone had a private plane company, a charter thing and they said it’s so easy to just call up and we’ll send you a plane, it’s so cheap. It’s like Uber for planes.
Bill: Now I get that.
Bill: That’s a good frame.
Bill: But then it has to work. So, it’s okay if you frame it that way but if the product doesn’t perform, forget it! And there’s nothing that destroys a brand faster than great advertising for a bad product.
Lorenzo: Mmmm. Make it a false claim.
Bill: Yeah, so sure attempting to reframe is great.
Lorenzo: Right. I know the first time I had to do it was when I was explaining to my mother, my dear mother that I worked for Geekdom and she’s like “Well, Miho, what’s Geekdom?” It’s a collaborative coworking space and she kind of looked at me like “What are you talking about?” And I said “Ah, it’s a YMCA for geeks.”
Bill: There you go!
Lorenzo: Boom! All of sudden she’s…”Oh I get it! I know what you mean.”
Bill: Well actually that gets into some of the techniques of framing, quick techniques, classical ones. Which is to say basically take some of the people that already know what they like…
Lorenzo: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Bill: So they already know what it is, like a picture’s worth a thousand words. They already have a story about something they like and now say you see what you like, well that’s this other thing but together with that, contained with that.
Bill: So like it’s Uber for for your airplanes…”Oh okay I get that and I like Uber.” Our famous product called Home ATM, we invented all those years ago.
Bill: We said it’s like an ATM, everybody said “Wow! I like my ATM.” But it’s right in your home. And by the way, that’s how movies are sold. That’s how movies are sold in Hollywood. They’ll constantly say this, they’ll talk about the story arch and everything bit they walk in and they’ll say “It’s big chill meets animal house.”
Bill: And by the way, do you remember the big chill? You may have heard of the big chill.
Lorenzo: Oh yeah, yeah!
Bill: That’s how he sold Animal House 2. Serious, for real. He said it’s Big Chill meets Animal House.
Lorenzo: That’s awesome.
Bill: And they said “Okay, I can see that one great hit movie combined with another one, it must be better!”
And boom! You’re right. So they do that.
Lorenzo: I also wanna talk about an important variable or maybe this would be another show…
Lorenzo: But framing your competition.
Bill: Oh, true!
Lorenzo: And I think that this is really advanced Jedi level…
Lorenzo: But there’s gonna come a point where your competition is gonna come after you…
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: Or they start claiming what you claim.
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: And this is one of the tools in the toolbox.
Bill: Well, look at it. It’s the number one thing that politicians now use. Talk about negative ads. They go out…they really don’t have much to say about their own agenda, but what they can do is they can knock the other guy. So the first thing they do is they try to…what you do is you want to frame the…you actually want to brand the other guy.
Bill: Before the other guy brands himself.
Bill: And if you’re dealing with an opponent that’s not that good at it, the first thing you go out and you call them a flip flopper.
Lorenzo: Yeah, one of the greatest examples of it…
Bill: Well, our lustrous President is a master.
Lorenzo: He really is.
Bill: One of the first things he did-
Lorenzo: He gave everybody a name.
Bill: Before the debates, he called Little Marco and Crooked Hilary. By the way, we’re not arguing here.
Lorenzo: This is a bipartisan show.
Bill: Right but also not to manip…we’re not talking about manipulating things. We’re making a point about how these frames work.
Lorenzo: Technically what he was doing was both reframing and giving you a micro script.
Lorenzo: So he was doing 2 things that if you use them for you business, there are ways to use them to where you can sell your product.
Bill: Well that’s right. So, sometimes for example what happens is you’re trying to create a new category so when you want to frame your category, but to create the greatest contrast between you and the other guys…so the audience sees the difference. My favorite of all time was Cola versus the un-cola.
Bill: Right? It was a one thing is opposite of the other, that’s the binary frame.
Bill: So for example, when bowing came out with the first jumbo jet, the 747 back in the late 60’s.
Lorenzo: “Everybody else is small potatoes but we’re the jumbo!”
Bill: Well remember, airliners were big huge things. They just talked about a DCA and a 707, they were monstrous, great, majestic aircraft, right? But Bowing had this thing that was 3 times as big. So they say it’s a jumbo jet.
Bill: The first jumbo jet. The wide body. But then to make you understand the difference they call the other ones narrow bodies. Right?
Lorenzo: No, it’s great!
Bill: No one had ever labeled or framed those but now compared to a jumbo jet they were all inferior!
Lorenzo: Yup. Yup.
Bill: But they gave you a little micro script to remember it. They gave you a label. Jumbo et! What’s the opposite? Narrow body. And you see how powerful that is? And we call that the Binary Frame.
Bill: It’s a little bit of advanced branding but we’re gonna talk about all these things in the show because as we said, our other claim is that “Listen to 1 Brand Brothers show, 1 and you’ll know more than executives on Madison Avenue in New York making $650,000 a year.”
Lorenzo: Those bastards!
Bill: That’s our promise to you, folks!
Lorenzo: It’s true. It’s true.
Bill: Just 1 show.
Bill: Any one of our shows. They can’t talk about framing, they can’t talk like this about framing.
Lorenzo: Go fire them right now! Go point at the turtleneck and say “get outta here!”
Bill: They’re saying we don’t even care about your product. We don’t care about your product. We just want to make a piece of film that makes you laugh, makes you cry and makes us win Cleo Award. How about that? Okay?
Bill: So hire us! We’re gonna send 5 people on a plane to your office every week and at the end of it, we’re gonna give you this piece of nonsense. But you’ll get page views! Page views.
Lorenzo: So, do you want to talk about the manage versus [inaudible 00:43:21]
Bill: I don’t know, I’m just wondering if we haven’t gone off-
Lorenzo: No, no!
Bill: We might pretty soon just end up with one continuous never ending show.
Lorenzo: I feel like we have enough on that one.
Bill: You think?
Bill: Alright, okay! We’ll come back to this later. So what’s our takeaway of the day?
Lorenzo: Yeah, what is our takeaway of the day? The takeaway of the day is…I actually think that the takeaway is the definition because you didn’t know that you could do it. You didn’t know that you could change your story. Right? Give your audience a new story.
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Lorenzo: Same set of facts.
Bill: Yeah, yeah I think that there’s no more powerful way, to change a mind you have to reframe their story.
Lorenzo: That’s it.
Bill: We have to tell them a new story. We said all a frame is, our definition of a frame is a frame is just same set of facts with a different story. Right? And there’s no more important way to communicate then to help somebody change their story to a story…so that you’re story fits with theirs. And that’s what great brands do. A brand is a story that only you can tell and then it’s in capsulated in a little micro script.
Lorenzo: The gift that keeps on giving.
Bill: It is a gift and with that I guess we’re done.
Lorenzo: Tune in til next time.