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Thu, Jul 31, 2014

VINSON: ‘Stampylongnose’: a lesson in very clever advertising

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My initial reaction was, “What —who— on earth is ‘Stampylongnose’?!” I just shook my head in total bewilderment.
It’s a given that when pitching a product, the pitcher has a limited amount of time with which to capture the potential buyer’s attention. I once heard a famous book author say that while a great deal of thought and work are required to compose a decent book, a “great deal of thought,” also should go into choosing the book’s title, and for this reason:

When inside a bookstore casually browsing around for something to read, nothing particular in mind, most people have an attention span of “five to 10” seconds as they quickly glance over book titles in search of something that “jumps out and grabs them!” When they do find something that jumps out and grabs them, they might pause, pick it up, read the overview, purchase the book and read it.

The ironic reality here is that the book positioned right next to the one looked at and, ultimately, purchased might be far superior in terms of writing, content and entertainment. However, it was “passed over” by the buyer simply because of the title. “When creating a title, it needs to be short — no more than 10 syllables — easy to pronounce, and something that jumps out and grabs them,” the author emphatically noted.

The same logic applies even more so to the titles of TV shows, movies, books and games designed for and marketed to children in the 7-11-age range, mainly because of a shorter attention span and a greater need for instant gratification.
Now, back to Stampylongnose:

I was helping a 10-year-old boy with a cute little story he’s come up with. This boy is quite creative and articulates his thoughts and ideas with greater clarity than do many adults. However, as is the case with most kids his age, he has a tendency to get excited and jump around quite a bit when we’re working on his story: “Mike, I just thought of something . . . let’s put this part here . . . and that part  over there!”

Just the other day, he told me he wanted to add “Stampylongnose” to his story. At first, I thought he either was kidding or Stampylongnose was something or someone he’d made up on his own. But once I was convinced he was serious, that’s when I responded with, “What — who — on earth is ‘Stampylongnose’?!”

The boy said, “I’ll show him to you on YouTube on my iPad.” Thus began my journey into the brilliantly imaginative world of Stampylongnose.

Stampylongnose, in fact, is a young man named Joseph Garrett, a lanky British fellow with wild hair, a long nose, and a fluid voice that produces a uniquely entertaining oratory, academic enough to impress educated adults, yet simple enough for children to understand and enjoy. Garrett is popularly known for playing child-friendly games, in particular “Minecraft,” and being the “fourth most viewed YouTube channel as of January 2014.” (It has been written that he/Stampylongnose/Garrett had “more hits” than pop singer Justin Bieber on YouTube.)

In short, via his YouTube series, Stampylongnose takes children into a high-tech world that teaches them how to be creative, and have fun while doing it!

I will refrain from going on and on about Stampylong nose, because as I did, you can look him up on Google, Yahoo or go to his website and research until your heart’s content.

Rather, as implied in the title, the key focus of this column is the importance of well-thought-out wording when applying a title to a product to be marketed to the public. In short, clever advertising. When the 10-year-old boy said “Stampylongnose,” I, 60-years-old, admit that I just had to know who/what he/it was.

Had it been a less flamboyant, more benign name, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

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Joseph Garrett, Mike Vinson, Stampylongnose, YouTube
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