Baseball Players are very superstitious about batting but not about fielding.  Why?  Well, fielders are 99% successful so they conclude that what they are doing is right.

Batters, on the other hand, are looking for patterns that will help them figure out how to be more successful.  They are only successful about 30% of the time.  That means they are overly sensitive to any pattern that, in retrospect, leads to their successes… external patterns that are probably are not there.

Like all of us, they have a strong desire to connect behaviour prior to success with that success.  So they will wear the same socks during a “streak,” eat the same foods, and do the same physical rituals over and over again.

Would you do this kind of irrational behaviour to gain some success?  Touch wood.

Curiously, we see the patterns afterwards but seem to be unable to recognize them before the event.

It is like that with advertising as well.  There are those who prepare with a checklist of points that are required, like we have provided.  Or who go by instinct – which really means guessing with some hormonal sense of sureness.

And the sum total of what we have concluded?  If you have all the right elements, you will communicate your strategy well and this will improve your likelihood of success.  Will it bring huge success?  You have to wait and see.

I have been involved with several landmark campaigns (and of course there are a whole lot of other ones that I think were great).  More often than not these happen to hit at the right time in the right place, unbeknownst to the agency and advertiser.

My lesson for you.  Don’t hope for home runs.  Don’t do the YouTube video hoping it will get millions of hits, because it won’t.  For every Rebecca Black video like Friday, there are a million flops we never hear of.  Like the batters who wear the same socks and still strike out two thirds of the time.

The great hitters start with a plan and stick to it.  If you believe in what you are doing, stick it out through the ups and downs.  Don’t over react and get distracted by patterns that may not be real.  Success is more about blocking and tackling than it is about the Hail Mary pass.

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