The Wooden Whistling Bird

Ads are probably one of the most ignored things in the world. Nop, not even the ‘No Parking’ sign in central KL is as ignored. Or the warnings on a pack of smokes. When it comes to being ignored; ads rule!

To make matters worse, an average person is bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages in a day. Don’t believe it? Think of all the billboards you pass on the way to work, the jingles you hear on the radio, the little ads you see online, the TV commercials, the subtle product placements in movies, TV shows and games; the list is virtually endless. There’s an ad pretty much wherever you look.

Ad Clutter
Ads are everywhere, but do they solve problems?

But you will be hard-pressed to remember even one of the ads you saw or heard even as recent as this morning because you have learned to ignore them. Then why are millions, if not billions spent creating and disseminating stuff people are going ignore anyway?

Probably because out of the millions of ads that don’t get noticed; a few do break through the clutter. Here’s where I would like to share the story of the Wooden Whistling Bird:

In a makeshift stall by the five-foot-way; a man was selling decorative Wooden Whistling Birds; and the hand-written sign outside the stall said – Wooden Whistling Birds $5.

The man didn’t sell much, just the odd 2 to 3 birds a day. One day the man got an idea, he quickly scribbled his thought on a piece of corrugated carton and placed it over the sign outside his stall.

That day, the man sold out all his birds. The new sign said – ANNOY THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR NEIGHBOURS FOR $5.

So how to make people notice ads? Solve their problem.

Okay, this particular neighbourhood in the story probably had lots of inconsiderate neighbours to start with. So the man recognized this and offered a way for the residents to exact revenge via his Wooden Whistling Birds – hence solving a problem – instead of his birds just being a decorative item.

In case you’re wondering; I’ve yet to find a Wooden Whistling Bird myself, as I do have asshole neighbours.

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