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The “Crap On a Rug” Communication Technique

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Posted 16th April 2019 at 12:09 AM by Kelvindorsey

Lemme tell you about a man named Big Billy.

Who’s Big Billy?

Big Billy was the 27th president of the United States.

His real name was William Howard Taft.

And yes, he was big.

I’m talking “340 pounds” big.

Yup, the 27th president of the United States was a real porker!

But more about that in a minute. First, let me tell you about his political career. (stick with me, o.k?) William Howard Taft was quite the politician. You could even say he was one of the very best. What did he do?

Check this out:

William Howard Taft (Big Billy) brought forward 80 antitrust lawsuits, reorganized the State Department, presided over the establishment of the income tax, and became the only president to also serve as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!

That’s a fat body of work any politician would be proud of.

But here’s the thing: Big Willy isn’t remembered for any that. All those great accomplishments are now just a mere footnote in his bio.

Nope. Instead, William Howard Taft is remembered as…

…America’s Fattest President Ever!

I guess getting stuck in the White House’s bathtub didn’t help his cause, either. True story. Yep, apparently, one night Big Billy got stuck in the tub and it took six men to pry his colossal naked body out.

So what do you do when you’re so fat you can’t get out of the bathtub? You get a bigger bathtub, of course. And that’s exactly what Big Billy did. He had a custom made, extra-large bathtub installed at the White House. This porcelain behemoth could fit 5 people or… just Big Billy.

Well anyway, as you can imagine, the story of him getting stuck in the tub didn’t take long to circulate. The rumor mill cranked into high gear, and the gross mental image was burnt into the brains of people everywhere.

And now, instead of being remembered for his great work and accomplishments, he is now remembered as the fatso president who got stuck in the White House bathtub.

Ya know, he could have solved the Middle East crisis, came up with a cure for cancer, and he would still be remembered as…

…That Fat Dude Who Got Stuck In The Tub!

Poor Billy.

Is there a lesson here?

There are many, many lessons here.

I’m not gonna go into ALL of those lessons here, but here are two:

Lesson #1

Vivid imagery (especially ones that make you wince) sticks in people’s memory like crap on a rug. A fat man stuck in a bathtub is vivid. And if that fat man is the leader of the free world, that mental picture is gonna stick even more.

Look at your content and sales messages. Are you painting pictures for your audience? Are you planting memorable images into their minds?

If you’re not, your messages won’t be as memorable, and your content will be weak. About as weak as a kitten with one kidney. (see there?)

In other words, your communication won’t have impact.


Lesson #2

People remember stories that reveal our humanity; the good bad and the ugly – not accomplishments. For example, Bill Clinton helped protect the environment, promoted education, strengthened the economy, dropped the crime rate, dropped poverty levels and had some victories with international policies.

But what do people remember?

They remember the scandalous affair, the blatant lying and deceit, and him playing the sax at Arsenio Hall while dressed like one of the blues brothers.

That’s what gets people’s attention and lodges in their minds.

How are you injecting human drama and revealing humanity in your sales and marketing messages?

Next time you read the newspaper, take notice of all the headlines. Almost 90% of the headlines will contain some type of human drama.

Fact and figures, product features, information, and accomplishments, are easily ignored. But tell someone a juicy story, they can’t help but get sucked in. Look, the truth is, if you don’t know what really grabs people’s attention, marketing will be one helluva tough gig for you.

Listen: as a marketer, if you lose people’s attention…



The end.

Yup, the marketer who can’t hold their prospect’s attention is losing money hand over fist.

Especially if they do paid advertising.

Boy oh boy! If you don’t know how to hold people’s attention with paid marketing, you will lose more coin than Michael J. Fox at a parking meter.

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