Meta-Frame Your Advertising and Make it Mesmerizing

by Lou

In the Sleight of Mouth patterns, we have a reframing technique called Applying a Meta Frame. When we go “meta” to something, we metaphorically move above it to include it. And we put a larger frame around it.

When we meta-frame a belief, we challenge the basis or the origins of the belief rather than the belief itself.

We ask questions like, “How is it possible they believe that?” or “Where did they learn that?” Pointing that connection out to them—because it’s probably unconscious—will very often have them see their belief in another light.

For example,  say you wanted to convince a friend that he or she should start their own business. So you tell them that. But he or she doesn’t believe they can.

FRIEND: “I can’t do that; I am not that kind of person!
YOU (applying a meta-frame): “You’re only saying that because you’re afraid of what others might think.” (The meta-frame here is Ridicule from Others.)

As you can see from that brief example, meta-framing can be a great tool to have in therapeutic interventions. Now let’s see how we can use it in selling…

Meta-Frames in Advertising

In advertising, there’s an ideal that ad agencies strive for called “a concept” or “the big idea”. The concept of an advertisement is used to sell a product based on the emotions customers may feel and the idea put in their heads after being exposed to the ad. It puts a meta-frame around the whole advertisement.

There are some very famous advertisements that have powerful concepts attached to them. Some of them are so powerful and convey so much information, that they only need a photo. Here are a couple:

The meta-frame? Smoke Marlboro cigarettes and you'll be a rugged individual. It's an appeal to the prospect's identity...

Here the meta-frame or concept is that if you support nuclear energy, you destroy the environment for generations.

The Recipe for Creating a Concept/Big Idea for Your Product

Okay, you realize putting a larger frame or concept around your product, service, or brand is a great idea. How do you do it? Let’s model the ad agencies who do it all the time:

1. What emotions and feelings do you want to invoke in your prospects? What objects or things in life invoke those emotions? Which type of people cause certain emotions in others? What type of person do they see themselves as, their identity? Can these be tied to your product?

2. You can increase the intensity of those emotions in long sales copy by altering your readers’/listeners’ submodalities (like I show you how to do in Selling Submodalities). Putting your readers right in there and then upping the intensity can get great reactions.

3. Can you sum up your idea in a photo, graphic, or sentence? What sort of theme does this invoke? Does this put a meta frame around your product?

4. Is it unique? Is the image or images unlike anything anybody has seen before?

5. Does it cause you to gasp? Does it shock? These might not be necessary, but you’ll definitely make your ad more memorable if it does.

Don’t worry if you can’t come up with a big idea for your product in just a few minutes. Let your subconscious dwell on it for a while as well. You might just wake up in the middle of the night with the perfect concept for your business.

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