CAUTION: Reading this will erase your memory and make your friends hate you.

Poignant observation by a good friend of mine today: “we need a new message.”

We were talking “Mask Wearing.” Man, he is smart.

C’mon, man! This isn’t Quantum Physics: Mask, Hygiene, Distance, Caring, Patience.

People are dying for goodness sakes.

Then he said, “we don’t consider warnings on cigarette packs. People still smoke.”

He nailed it.

We need a different feedback loop. Like Claude Hopkins created with Pepsodent Toothpaste in the early 1900s. Hopkins was a copywriting genius.

“Run your tongue across your teeth,” read the advertisement. “You’ll feel a film – that’s what makes your teeth look ‘off color’ and invites decay. Pepsodent (like all toothpaste) removes that film.”

BOOM! People dramatically changed their behavior.

They felt the film. They purchased and then used Pepsodent, a product that created a ‘tingle’ when used (the tingle has no medicinal value by the way). Dental Hygine practices changed dramatically.

Before Pepsodent and this national ad campaign, only 7 percent of Americans used toothpaste daily.

After the ad campaign went nationwide? 65%.

Um, sixty-five friggn’ percent!

That message. That feedback loop: feel film, brush with Pepsodent, feel the tingle.

It changed behavior. Because, people felt it.

Dental hygiene improved dramatically across the entire country.

The film – gone.

The tingle after brushing – minty fresh.

Intrinsic, selfish reinforcement – yeppers!

Repeat. Twice a day, every day! Compliance central!

Here’s the problem: wearing a mask – there’s no selfish, individual feedback loop.

Unfortunately, the altruistic message of caring for, protecting, and giving a darn about our friends and neighbors doesn’t make our mouth tingle.

If it did, I bet compliance would be through the roof.

Until we create the breakthrough message, please #MaskUP, wash your hands, and keep your distance.

We marketing folks are trying to come up with the warning label that gets you to cover your nose at the grocery store. “It highlights your beautiful eyes…”

You know, the message that breaks through the selfish, non-caring act of recklessly spreading this thing.

Until then – give a darn. Wear your mask. Stay home. Stay apart. Save someone’s life.

And, brush twice a day with your toothpaste of choice. Please.

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