Let me set the scene…

It’s a warm summer evening in Vienna. It’s raining, you’ve been walking for hours.

You pass a bar with this sign in the window:

Do you….

(a) Giggle and keep walking.
(b) Stop in your tracks, look for the door, and jump into the bar


I’ll tell you what I did in a second. 

First, some extra context:

This is a sign that’s really popular at bars and pubs across the world. If you Google “soup of the day beer” you’ll get hundreds of examples:

So, it must be a great marketing/sales tool….


All those examples can’t be wrong….


Well, in a word, NO. It’s not good marketing. 

Back to my rainy day in Vienna.

I chose option (a) Giggle and keep walking. 

I’m a beer guy, I was hungry – I’m an EASY sale. But all this sign did was make me giggle. 

And that’s the problem:

Giggles don’t pay the bills. 

Imagine you’ve got ONE sandwich board sign to pull people in off the street and into your bar. 

Are you going to tell a joke and make people smile? 

Or are you going to give the passerby a reason to stop what they’re doing, walk through your doors, and spend $$$?

Humor can be a great hook, but it’s usually not enough by itself to convert a random stranger into a paying customer. 

Way too many brands don’t understand wtf they’re doing when it comes to sales. 

They see another business do something that gets reactions and decide, “Hey, Presto! A magical sales formula!!”

That’s lazy. And it just doesn’t work. 

And in case you think I’m just talking about bars and beer — the same thing happens every single day with online brands. 

They copy one thing that seems to be working without any idea:

  • If it’s actually resulting in sales.
  • Why it’s getting reactions (or sales).
  • How to adjust it to their own brand. 

If your ads are funny, that’s wonderful. You’ve got a great hook. 

But if you don’t follow it up with a really strong reason to buy…..you’re probably wasting space. 

Back to that Vienna bar — 

If the “Soup of the Day” joke didn’t “convert” me, then what would?

You’ve got to use more direct selling points, like:

Price: Tell me I’m going to save X amount of money.
Example: “Get 50% off all local beers for happy hour”

Uniqueness: Tell me I can try something I can’t get anywhere else.
Example: “October special: Get Vienna’s original Oktoberfest beer – we use the real original Austrian beer recipe (unchanged since 1516)”

A joint event: Tell me I can watch something or attend something that I can’t get elsewhere.
Example: “Tonight! Khabib vs Jake Paul!”

Use a funny hook if you like – but follow it up with a reason that’ll do more than make people chuckle. Make them drop everything and happily run to your business trying to buy your stuff!


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