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Advertising & Surfing’s Cost Per Ride


“I tried advertising once and it didn’t work.”

That’s like saying, “I tried surfing and didn’t get up a single time.” Surfing and Advertising are very similar and just because you tried something and wasn’t successful at it, doesn’t mean you can’t be.  You just need the right guide.

Just imagine, you’re holding a surf board under one arm, looking out at the waves you are about to encounter. You run, high-knees, into the water, jump on the board belly first and slide right off.  You quickly realize that just lying on the board can be a challenge.  You get yourself situated enough to start paddling out to where the other surfers have gathered. You think, “well, they’re all there, so that must be the right spot.”  Good thinking. You finally get there, a little exhausted from the paddle out.  You sit up on your board again thinking, “wow, they make it look so easy.”  Right as you get the hang of sitting on top of your board, a set of waves starts to roll in.  The other surfers have some sort of understanding who’s allowed to paddle for this one, but not knowing the rules of the water, you start paddling for it too. You paddle as hard as you can.  Paddle, paddle, paddle.  The wave passes under you as 2 dudes hop up easily and ride the wave all the way in.  This happens 20 more times or so.  You’re exhausted.  You’re getting ready to give up.  One guy paddles by and says, “hey bud, scoot up on your board a bit.  That’ll help.”

So, you’re up further on your board, which feels kind of scary. You manage to catch a wave or 2 out of another 20 tries, but you still can’t seem to stand up and get a ride.  You think to yourself, “this is really hard.”  You keep trying, keep trying until you can’t even lift your arms.  It’s time to give up before you drown. You somehow get yourself back up on the beach and lie there for a minute completely exhausted.  Your girlfriend comes over.  “Are you ok?”  she asks.  “It looks like you were having a tough time out there.”  Now, not only do you have a horrid rash on your stomach, snot hanging from your nose, your arms and ribs ache like bloody hell but your ego is shattered in a gazillion pieces, so you say, “I think I have the wrong size board.” Face it, you rented a board and didn’t catch a single ride. You’re CPR (Cost Per Ride) is really high.

Here’s what would happen if you approached surfing differently.  You would have hired a guide or an instructor.  You would have learned that the ocean changes every single second.  You’d learn how things across the world can affect the waves you will ride later that week. You’ll learn the physics behind a wave, what makes it ridable, what it actually feels like when you’ve caught it.  You’ll learn how to let the wave carry you. You’ll learn the proper way to stand up.  You’ll learn how to turn.  And you’ll learn that riding a wave is by far the greatest feeling in the world.

The same thing happens when you have an advertising “guide” (a.k.a. agency).  Let your agency teach and guide you through all the things that affect your advertising and help you be successful.  Let them use their knowledge of the giant ocean (media) to tell you where to be. Let them show you what kind and size board you’ll need to catch the wave (creative.) I promise, if you “try” advertising like you would approach learning a new sport or hobby, your Cost Per Ride will be so much lower making you a much happier and successful Dude!

Posted in: Blog