Marketing Innovation: The Inversion Tool

The LAB: Innovating the Blackberry with S.I.T. (November 2010)
November 8, 2010
Innovation Sighting: New World Order with Attribute Dependency
November 22, 2010

Marketing Innovation: The Inversion Tool

Creating innovative TV commercials is more effective when using patterns embedded in other innovative commercials. Professor Jacob Goldenberg and his colleagues discovered that 89% of 200 award winning ads fall into a few simple, well-defined design structures. Their latest book, "Cracking the Ad Code," defines eight of these structures and provides a step-by-step approach to use them. Here are the eight tools:

Creating innovative TV commercials is more effective when using patterns embedded in other innovative commercials.  Professor Jacob Goldenberg and his colleagues discovered that 89% of 200 award winning ads fall into a few simple, well-defined design structures.  Their latest book, "Cracking the Ad Code," defines eight of these structures and provides a step-by-step approach to use them.

Here are the eight tools:
   1. Unification
   2. Activation
   3. Metaphor
   4. Subtraction
   5. Extreme Consequence
   6. Absurd Alternative
   7. Inversion
   8. Extreme Effort

The Inversion Tool conveys what would happen if you didn’t have the product…in an extreme way.  It show the benefits “lost”  by not using the product.  While it produces memorable commercials, it should  be used only when the brand and its benefits are understood by the viewer. 

To use the Inversion Tool, start with the components of the brand promise.  Take each one away one at a time and envision in what ways the consumer would be affected…in an extreme way…if it did not have this aspect of the promise.

Here are two examples of the Inversion Tool: