Challenge Your Comfort Zone

In advertising safe is not a strategy, it’s a recipe for mediocrity. Facts can bore your audience to death (see The Best Ads are Inspirational, Not Informational). The truth is, success often lies outside the comfort zone. A calculated amount of risk can make a big difference –– and that leads me to a bus, a chainsaw and a hapless bonsai tree.

Vicinity buses are the right(sized) tool for the job. To illustrate this point, we use the metaphor of the insanity of using a chainsaw to prune a tiny bonsai tree –– to ill effect –– just as cutting down a large bus to fit the needs of smaller communities makes no sense.

It’s a smart solution versus the sea-of-sameness of all other bus manufacturer ads. The campaign debuted at the APTA annual trade show to great interest and reviews. And it easily could have never happened, except for a client with the courage to take a risk.

Our client, Vicinity, makes purpose-built buses for smaller communities. They are the “David” to a handful of “Goliaths” that they can’t outspend for market share. Instead they recently veered outside the comfort zone to outsmart their much larger competitors with a campaign guaranteed to stand out from the crowd. Cue the chainsaw!

On conviction versus risk, investment executive, Phil Morle, says: “Humans generally weight the avoidance of bad things over the pursuit of good things. A downside frame leads to great opportunities being missed or made smaller –– and that is the biggest risk of all.” Here’s to the brave ones who aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zones!