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Archive for June, 2012

4
Jun

The “MAGIC” of Advertising

In Arthur C. Clarke’s Three Laws, the Third Law states, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

And since almost everything worth advertising is, at least in the mind of its creator, a “sufficiently advanced technology,” the marketing of such products benefits by borrowing from the magic industry.

In fact, experts call words such as amazing, magical, and astounding, “stop words.” These are terms and phrases that when included in headlines and headers, cause potential customers to stop [flipping through the magazine or changing channels] and pay attention to the sufficiently advanced technology being advertised.

This is why it is difficult, near impossible, to find an available URL for your magic business that incorporates these stop words; those websites are already being used by the mainstream market.

Porsche’s recent slogan (circa 2011), “Engineered for Magic,” both takes advantage of our industry’s core term and gives credibility to the idea that men only drive a Porsche due to a “wand” complex.

Even non-technological products take from the magic industry’s precious limited vocabulary. Spider-Man is, after all, only “amazing.” The same term used to describe turn-of-the-century baking apparatus.

Magicians have struck back over the years. Magic creators parody the occasional well-known summer blockbuster for their trick’s title or they incorporate popular mainstream products, from playing cards to iPhones, in their routines.

I remember Steve Fearson performing a trick for me while we were hanging out at a magic convention more than a decade ago, when the Internet was still finding its place among the general public. He had me select a card and then go to Oprah’s website, which revealed my card right next to her picture!

Today, there is a constant supply of innovative technology advertised as magic. It is important magicians develop new magic tricks just as quickly, setting the bar for what is magic and what is “like” magic.

In the past, a young kid might say, “I know how you did that, you used one of those fake thu***.” Now days, he will say, “You know, there’s an app for that. And it’s amazing!”