Marketing Lessons from I Love Lucy

Let’s talk about Vitameatavegamin.  If you aren’t chuckling right now, then you might want to acquaint yourself with this skit in which Lucille Ball hilariously depicts Lucy getting absolutely smashed off the Vitameatavegamin product.  She never manages to make it through rehearsals for the commercial and things go about as you’d expect on I Love Lucy.  Other than the obvious lesson that alcohol-based vitamins aren’t a first-rate choice, there are some great email marketing takeaways from this skit.

The Value of Simplicity
The script is full of tongue-twisters and humor, but it’s too complicated, especially after a few spoonfuls of “vitamins.”  Try saying Vitameatavegamin five times fast!  In the real world where there isn’t a laugh track to go with such attempts, clarity is a lot more important.Consider the busy lives of your contacts. They are opening and reading your email newsletters, which you love them for, but their busy lives are usually keeping them preoccupied enough that they may not have every brain cell focusing on your content.  In other words, write a script that could still be read after a spoonful or two.

When You Can’t Say it All, Say it Well
Vitameatavegamin crams every marketable ingredient right there into the title. An interesting approach, but not an ideal one. In the real world, you can’t say everything you want others to know in one shot. Concise, clear language is more important. Here are a couple of company mottos that keep it short and sweet:  Imagination at Work; Sponsors of Tomorrow; Don’t be Evil, Impossible is Nothing; Think.(GE, Intel, Google, Adidas, IBM).  You can’t know everything from those simple statements, but you can get a pretty good ideas of what these companies stand for.  This applies to other types of marketing as well.  Can’t fit everything you have to offer in the subject line for your upcoming email newsletter?  See above advice!

Leave a Good Taste In the Reader’s Mouth
The one place where I will sing the praises of Vitameatavegamin is memorability.  Once you’ve heard all the drunken iterations that come out of Lucy’s mouth in the skit, you’re nearly guaranteed to remember the name of the product.  That’s what great branding is all about.  If Vitameatavegamin existed in the real world, they’d have done gangbusters after that episode of I Love Lucy aired. While we can’t advise you to tell people that stuporous intoxication is a result of using your product, we can tell you that when you make people smile, laugh, or nod thoughtfully you got them where it counts.