Marketing, magic and the suspension of belief


The great thing about a remarkable magic act or illusion is that the better it is, the more we suspend our belief and we actually accept what we are seeing (or not seeing).

“Wow, did he really make that cell phone disappear?” (Cell phones are great, but where’s Janet Reno when you need her?)

Magic is great because we choose to believe that it is great. We know in our minds that magic is only slight of hand movements and just an illusion. But magic is not for our minds…it is for our hearts. Good magic is fun, exciting and at times literally breath taking. It is something that we experience through our emotions.

Marketing done right is like a great illusion that we perform for ourselves. We temporarily suspend belief and we see only what we want to see. So if I think that eating at your hip restaurant will make me hip, you’ve done your job. If a teen-aged girl feels that if she wears your jeans her caboose will look smaller and she might catch the eye of that “one guy” at the party, she’s getting the jeans.

We all know in our heads that food is simply converted fuel for our bodies and clothes are merely a cover our fuel converters. But if we encounter the products that we know and love with only our heads, the self-talk makes little sense. Saying to ourselves “This Harley will make me into a lean, mean weekend rebel” would be reduced to “This motorcycle gets me to where I need to go” (and we probably wouldn’t buy the emotionally charged Harley, but instead go for the most economical value). It’s a good thing that when it comes to endearing products and magic that we lead with our hearts.


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