Make an ad for yourself and play with delivery systems

put yourself in the picture

This week we’re going to use everything you’ve learned about yourself in the back-to-school marketing campaign to make one more ad for your goal. Ideally, it will pull together all the insights from your market research, competitive analysis, and positioning decision into a final ad that shows yourself having exactly the result you want. Then you’ll set up a method to make sure you automatically see that picture every day.

Our story so far

We’ve been working our way together through creating a marketing campaign for a personal goal. If you’ve been following along you should have a pretty good idea by now not only what goal you want to work on, but why you want to do it. The real reason. A reason that resonates with you.

You may also already have a taken a photo and written a slogan in weeks three and four, and if these are working well for you, by all means keep using them. However I gained a lot insight about myself in the process of thinking about how to position my goal, so it seemed worthwhile to create a completely new ad to reinforce that idea. (I described how I made that ad in last week’s birthday post and posted a copy of it on the Examples page).

If you’ve been hesitant to jump in until now I invite you to consider whether there’s a goal in your life that has been resistant to the methods that usually work for you. If so, you may find that advertising to yourself is exactly the tool you need to get yourself moving. All of the articles in this series are listed below so you can see what we’ve been up to.

Make your picture

Your project this week is to take or make a new, more strategically focused picture of yourself looking like your goal is already true. Think about the brand position you chose, and try to set up a scene that emphasizes that angle. Be creative, even devious. How can you devise a way to stage a fake picture of the outcome you want? If you’re having trouble thinking of a way to do that, remember you can always write your questions to Dear Brain.

Those of you who are familiar with photo editing software like Photoshop have a huge advantage, because there really are no limits to what you can do to modify the picture you take. You can literally insert yourself a photo of yourself into any picture you find online, or can even make yourself thinner!

But for the more technically timid you can achieve excellent results by just having a friend take your picture in a scene that approximates the result you want, or by applying scissors and glue to a photo of yourself you already have. Some of you have a four-day weekend coming coming up in which there will be a lot of extra people hanging around with cameras. Just saying…

The following articles describe some techniques for getting and making that picture. Remember to dress in an appropriate “costume” for your photo shoot — it really helps set the mood!

How to deliver your ad

You don’t have do anything to get reminded about commercial products. It just happens thousands of times a day in the normal course of living your life. Your next step is to set up a similar automatic system for the picture you just made. The following articles describe step-by-step instructions for implementing several ad delivery systems. What other ways can you think of to deliver your ads?


Our computers and mobile phones are perfect delivery media.


Old school? No problem.


Really don’t want to make a picture? OK. You can still advertise to yourself.

Your action steps

  1. Make a picture that visually inserts yourself into the future you want to achieve.
  2. Set up one or more ways to automatically expose yourself to that image every day.
  3. Optional: Upload the picture to your Flickr account, and mark with the tag tbyb to share on the Your ads page.

Other articles in this series

  • Week 1 – Choose a goal
  • Week 2 – Do market research on yourself
  • Week 3 – Write a slogan for the campaign
  • Week 4 – Take a picture of yourself having the outcome you want
  • Week 5 – Analyze the competition
  • Week 6 – Decide how to position your behavior change
  • Week 7 – Choose a prop to enlist the people around you to talk about your goal
  • Week 8 – Look for opportunities to simulate the experience/outcome you want
  • Week 9 – Make and deliver your personal ad
  • Week 10 – Project wrap-up
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One Comment

  1. Lynn
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Someone said this post sounded cranky the way I first wrote it. Oops, sorry. Not my intention at all. Is this better?

    I get such great results with this stuff I sometimes make the mistake of wishing everyone would realize they should just drop everything and decide to make advertising for themselves immediately! I know, I know, that’s not how the world works. You are all most welcome here, wherever you are in your own change process. If the ideas in TBYB! can be of some small service, I am deeply honored.

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