What is interesting is how the adverts change. In the run up to Christmas the most successful adverts are stories. Think of the perfume adverts and those for department stores. They aren't selling individual products. They are looking for emotional engagement - they want to persuade people that they are selling perfect presents that fit with the importance of giving at Christmas. 'Cost isn't an issue', they say - you want to buy the best for your family and loved ones.
How is this applicable to schools? Well - what is more important than a school for your child? Parents aren't interested in price - they want to know that their child will be taught by the best teachers in a supportive environment. And that's where we need to tell stories. And at school we have a great advantage. We have real stories. The real stories that we see every day of achievement, support and success. Real stories that will be applicable to those looking for our school. Making the story as personal and tailored as possible helps even more - make sure you're collecting a wide range of stories.
Another key message from pre-Christmas adverts is the importance of social media. The John Lewis commercial above has been viewed 3 million times on YouTube for a start (and you might have clicked on it and increased this number!). Can your stories be spread easily? Do you encourage your students, parents and teachers to show their successes to the wider community?
After Christmas of course, everything changes and we're swamped with price-sensitive sales adverts. You wouldn't want to download and share an advert for DFS or PC World (funnily enough I couldn't find their Christmas ads online...), but you might be tempted to buy a 'half-price' settee or cheap television. Schools can't (and shouldn't) copy this - parents aren't going to want to admit (even to themselves) that they're prepared to 'grab a bargain' for their child's education. You need to keep those stories flowing all year round - and then back them up with hard evidence of success of course.