October 2018 Chatter

Posted at 30/09/18 - 04:45 PM

Einstein said, “Insanity is doing exactly the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result!” Actually, he didn’t really say that, but for some reason it is attributed to him. I suppose whoever did express the idea originally thought it would carry more weight if it appeared to come from a genius such as Einstein.

This does, however, throw up two interesting thoughts. The first is whether the saying itself is actually true, and the second is whether statements or ideas carry more or less weight and validity, depending on who expresses them.

Let’s apply the statement itself first of all to magic and in particular to the idea that if you publicise yourself in the same way again and again, if it doesn’t work initially, then it never will. I would suggest that in the realms of publicity the statement does not necessarily hold true.

Advertising relies on repetition. Potential customers rarely respond on the first occasion that they hear of something they might end up buying, and in fact some experts say that an advertiser needs to ‘touch’ a client up to 20 times before they will bite. It takes time for the message to be noticed, for the benefits of purchasing to sink in, and for the customer to finally remember to get round to buying.

So the fact that say, a magazine advert for your magic show, does not get a response the first, second or even third time that it appears, does not mean that after 15 times the booking will not happen. Doing the same thing in this instance is vital to the eventual success and proves that you can achieve a different result from doing the same thing again and again.

But does a message or saying carry more weight depending on who says it? Yes, I would suggest it does. If we come back to our example of advertising shows again, if you say in an advert “I am the best magician the world has ever seen”, it carries less validity and clout than a previous client of yours saying the same thing.

The reason is that the person reading the statement has to believe in the credentials of the person saying it, otherwise it is all too easy to dismiss the statement altogether. You can’t blow your own trumpet because the reader will just think, “well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”, whereas a similar amount of praise from a previous satisfied client creates an independent and therefore more believable feel about the comments.

It’s the same with claims made for particular tricks, books or DVDs. If a well known name in magic endorses a product and says that it is the best thing since sliced bread, you naturally are more likely to believe it because you assume that the experience and know how that the person possesses gives him an educated view of the item in question. It carries more conviction because you would hope that this person knows what he is talking about.

This is why some performers delight in getting ‘quotes’ from celebrities. They imagine that the general public will be impressed that a) the performer was entertaining a celebrity in the first place, and b) that said luminary found the magic awe inspiring. Actually, I always completely discounted celeb quotes as the truth has little to do with what they actually say, but others may be impressed nonetheless.

Author: Mark Leveridge

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