One of the most effective advertising campaigns occurred in the early 1980’s on British Columbia television. I’m not sure if it was a Canada-wide campaign because the actors in it were based in Vancouver.
Meet the Actors
I’d known Franz Russell for quite a number of years. Having attended one of his acting classes (for television and commercials), when I needed to return to Vancouver with my second wife and her daughter, he provided me with an invitation to a job interview. The UIC (Unemployment Insurance Commission) paid my train fare to attend.
Terry David Mulligan
In British Columbia, everyone knows Terry David Mulligan. He’s still on Vancouver radio somewhere, I believe. His voice and style are infectious and fun. For a while he was the host of a CBC television program called “Good Rockin’ Tonite”.
Two janitors are resting from their labours on the main floor of The Hudson’s Bay Company, probably in Vancouver. The men joke around: their lines may have been cleverly scripted, but their banter seems ad lib-ed. The main point seems to be for the viewer to feel engaged with these two characters. I cannot recall much about the ads, except the tag line, the whole point of the exercise:
Try not to think of The Bay
Having studied and practiced hypnotherapy for about five years, I can explain why this saying is so effective: when a suggestion is made under hypnosis, a word like NOT is ignored by the unconscious. That is why the best hypnotic suggestions are normally couched in positive terms. This advertising motto is pitted against the ego-consciousness of the viewer, which will automatically think that it has been given an instruction that is counterintuitive. In other words, the ego will think, ‘I don’t have to do this instruction.’
The reality is that the unconscious hears “Try to think of The Bay” and that will then be all it can do for the next little while (or at least until the next time the ad comes on TV). After awhile the brand name The Bay will be forefront of the viewer’s memory. Subtle, eh?
Franz Russell courtesy of SavannaNow;
Terry David Mulligan courtesy of BC Living;
The Bay, Yorkdale2 courtesy of Sunset Neon