The steady drumbeat for the “strong call to action” persists; personally I find CTAs as useful as a vestigial tail.
I understand that people have been trained to look for phone numbers and URLs at the end of spots and print ads, likewise links on web pages, but shouldn’t all they’ve seen, read and heard be motivation enough? If you haven’t done the job well enough, will yelling really loudly cause folks to jump up and do your bidding?
Who thinks: “I’m lukewarm about what I’ve just seen, but now that you’ve told me to act NOW, I will”?
Reasonable, left-brain CTAs that basically complete what preceded them—learn more about how to perform brain surgery at home—are fine with me. You’re providing a path, not a final wallop of faux urgency.
But what I really hate is the urgency plus fear CTA, aimed solely at the fight-or-flight response buried deep in our sympathetic nervous system, devoid of any logic or rationale. Except for one so far over the top (and just so wrong) that I love it. It’s the end of a direct response TV spot for gold coins. It’s both threatening and promising, full of a weird poignancy as it travels backward and forward in time. A perverse masterpiece of the genre, I present it here: Avoid disappointment and future regret.
After all, isn’t that what we all want out of life?
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