Treat people as friends, not as target groups



Bill Bernbach said, “You cannot sell a man who isn’t listening.” He taught us that our business is not only about informing people; it is about involving them emotionally and treating them with respect.

Now more than ever we need to respect people. We need to speak to them in relevant meaningful ways. We need to pay attention to how people are already communicating and interacting with one another. The manner in which we connect with people should add value to their lives and their conversations, not intrude upon them. When we stop thinking about people as customers, targets or focus groups, we start really treating people like good friends. Then everything starts to change.

In Singapore, our team resolved a frequent local frustration with neighbor’s faulty air conditioners and Singaporeans reluctance to confront their neighbors about it. Our idea for Courts Department Store did the talking for them and offered value to both parties. DDB Brasil turned the usual out-of-office vacation email into a new, viral media for TamViagens travel store that offered exclusive travel discounts to both the sender and recipient. And in Dubai, we went well beyond the usual fundraiser and designed a new way for patrons of the Al Manzil School for children with special needs to connect with the school’s children and create a dialogue that enhanced all their lives.

Treating people as friends means we are actively listening to them as friends too. The McDonald’s Macca’s promotion for Australia Day shows just how important listening is to building a brand relationships today. We are able to move a nation when we use our talents to connect with people in a relevant ways, by listening, respecting and treating people as a friend