Merlin Mann was a guest on episode 21 of The Shakes and dropped some great nuggets including the idea of the lead ticket – as a counter to a discussion about the Willy Wonka golden ticket – creating or manufacturing excitement about your new “thing” you’re trying to sell or pitch to someone:
The lead ticket is anything where you go in and are trying to leverage somebody’s time and attention in order to get something of a relatively, usually, small amount of value by doing something they wouldn’t ordinarily do. That could be clicking an ad, gotta put something on your Facebook page. It’s this thing where you’re encouraged to allow yourself to be photographed next to the logo in order to get a free raisinette.
Some brand manager came up with the idea of “oh, we’ve got to leverage social media.” The lead ticket is something that buys you very, very little long term value and you grudgingly give away a little piece of of yourself which most people don’t seem to mind. Which troubles me.
Merlin’s like a voice calling from the wilderness reminding us of a time when we used to value our souls. And our friend’s attention span.