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How to Sell Hard Truth

Confronting your death is a hard sell. But preplanning your funeral is actually a great idea: it saves money, prevents confusion among family, and lets loved ones focus on saying goodbye. To communicate a tough, yet important topic, we used three tried and true principles of marketing.

Make people laugh. Humor can be the best door to a tough topic, because it’s a tool people use to process the worst things in life. Humor gives your audience a gift for their attention and makes your message memorable. As Steve McKee wrote, “A humorous brand is a confident brand, and a confident brand is attractive.”

Make people heard. Funeral avoidance is almost cliché. “Just stick me in a coffee can.” “Don’t make a fuss over little old me.” “Bury me next to the dog.” We did our homework, researching the most common excuses for not preplanning. The best objections became the core of our TV campaign.

Make people think. Our research led us to focus on a single insight: people neglect planning their funerals because they don’t want to burden their loved ones. Ironically, planning your funeral is the best way to unburden those you leave behind. Our campaign focused on asking people to rethink their faulty assumptions, while acknowledging their good intentions.

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