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  • Writer's pictureAndy Powell

Everything you know is wrong. Probably.

Everything you know is wrong. Probably.
Is what you know really what you know?

I like facts. Amazing ones. Trivial ones. Completely counter-intuitive ones.

Why? Well, my college tutor always said you can’t argue with them.

In our industry, we sniff them out like a truffle-hunter — a mosquito net costs just £3; 800 children die every day from dirty water and poor sanitation; cancer survival rates have doubled in the last 30 years.

But it’s surprising just how often a ‘fact’ actually turns out to be pure conjecture. Totally subjective. A matter of opinion.

Let me start with a couple I’ve heard in my time.

“Piano doesn’t work for us on DRTV.”

“Full-colour images on the outer don’t test well with our audience.”

Now please don’t rush to judge. This isn’t a grouchy rant that’s looking to point fingers. I know how difficult it is to take untested routes and put them out there in a time of economic uncertainty.

But, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, according to Benjamin Franklin. So, if your donor base, click-throughs or response rates are shrinking, it’s time to separate the fact from the fiction.

Like trying a piano track on your next DRTV ad. We persuaded a client that it was right. And created a new banker that outperformed the previous ad by 32%. It’s plink-plonked its way to over 11,000 new regular givers since it first aired.

Or, use a full-colour image on an outer for a bit of doorstep drama. We did for a Christmas appeal that’s been the most successful in our client’s history, smashing through their £5m target with an engagement device generating 20 times as many respondents as usual.

Combining the right facts with powerful emotion is what creates the strongest work. It just takes the right knowledge, good objective insight and the best brains for the job. (You do know that the fact about using 10% of our brains is a myth too, right?)


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