I’ve been searching online but have been unable to find a link to the new BT display adverts for home broadband. If you haven’t seen them, essentially they are several very neatly produced ‘happy homes’ – a house with a smile built in to its architecture, either through a strategically positioned fence, or hedge etc etc. What I like is the fact that the main picture is not trying to be subtle at all, but it has built in some much more subtle touches throughout the piece – so a smiley face in the flowers, or in the sky, or a heart-shaped smoke plume coming from the chimney.

What I also find interesting is the fact that there is a cat pictured in each ad. Now this may just be a coincidence and perhaps the designer on the job is just very fond of cats, but I also found myself wondering as I sat gazing at these ads on the tube over the weekend whether BT has any research on what consumers consider to be ‘things that make mine a happy home’. Do cats feature highly on this list? Maybe they don’t and this is all far too elaborate, but it did get me thinking about research and persuasion again.

On this topic, I was commissioned last week to re-write some copy for a direct mail campaign, to make it a little more ‘persuasive’. Not strictly being a copywriter by trade, I fell back on some of the principles of persuasion laid out in Goldstein and Cialdini’s ‘Yes’ book: absolutely worth a read if you are ever trying to write ad or marketing copy. It sets out examples of where persuasion has worked, based on a number of psychological and real life experiences. I’m fully intending on reading it a second time and highlighting some of the best tips on this blog – but in the meantime I can strongly recommend buying a copy.

I’d fully intended to spend some time on CPD this weekend. Unfortunately I was scuppered by a perfect sunny bank holiday. Somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to spend it indoors…