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What "Pull" advertising is, and how to use it on Instagram


There are two types of advertising: Push and Pull. Everyone is familiar with Push advertising, because it's a very obvious ad, sometimes very pushy. It's an ad that screams at you, either visually, or with sound, on the radio, or on YouTube. It's what most people actually respond to best, which is why it's the most popular. But Pull advertising is much more subtle, and you can see it a lot on places like Instagram.

If you don't recognize Pull advertising, that's not surprising. Pull advertising isn't supposed to look like advertising. But once you start seeing it, you'll see it everywhere. I've known people who have started to recognize Pull advertising and then start seeing it everywhere, even if it's not there.

The best example that I can give is a photo of a celebrity wearing a particular brand of clothing. It may be a logo on a hat, it may just be a subtle cue that only people "in the know" recognize. And it puts a brand in front of people, and creates demand. When it gets ridiculously obvious, like a racing car driver covered with logos, it goes more into the "Push" category, so it's all about being subtle.

I like Pull advertising. The first time I saw it was in James Bond movies when I was a kid. It became so successful that it started to become pushy, and nowadays they've dialed it back a bit. It's known there as product placement.

If you want to do that one Instagram, you have to start with a product that displays well, for example something like indoor palm trees. And this is where Instagram really shines. You post photos of beautiful decors that just happen to have your product in it. You don't scream "buy now - everything must go!!" you just show how cool your product is, and wait for the pull. And the pull begins by people just looking, and eventually they'll inquire "Where can I get that?"

When the inquiries come in, be sure you're ready and make it easy and fast for people to buy. There's no need to push, just pull gently.