Driving my Honda, I plugged my iPhone in to listen to “The Everything Store” – a boring recount of Amazon and Jeff Bezos’s beginnings.

I had my two dogs with me. Trixie is a half-breed pug and Yorkshire terrier, and Calypso was rescued from a kill shelter near Houston. Both were sitting on the passenger’s seat wondering where our adventures would lead.

After 5 minutes, I was restless. The dogs looked at me and questioned when the fun would start. It was Sunday. I had my tea and my dogs. We were cruising down the back roads on the way to the hardware store.

Books have no place in today’s afternoon.

It was a singing kind of day. I changed over to Spotify and pumped a playlist from Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The dogs were dancing. I was singing my worst impression of Ronnie Van Zant and an unremarkable trip to an unremarkable place became the highlight of my day.

I’m not a poet.
Not that good at writing.
But I’m learning the power of words and how they can take a reader or listener into the storyteller’s world.

Imagine you’re at the beach, and you watch the waves roll in.

The engineer might say, “The waves rolled into the beach as the tide got higher.”
I was an engineer for most of my life. Engineers think logically, rationally and try to solve complex problems using math.

The poet might describe the waves this way.

Sitting on the beach, the waves clawed up the pebbles like a zombie pulling herself out of the grave.
The waves without patterns growled and squealed up the beach.
The unremarkable clawing unexpectedly grabbed my foot.
I moved back 10 feet not to be molested by the unpredictable motion of the demon.
The menace continued her crawl toward my toes with a relentless desire for another taste.
Innocent stones drowned with muted cries.

Down the coast, a girl was consumed by the monster. She thrashed about in its grasp, kicking and splashing with her little brother.
The gulls screamed at everyone with fear.
Hide, hide, hide, they warned.
But no one listened.

The poet pulls you in. She describes the same event by using colour, metaphor, simile. In effect, your mind creates drama. That’s the poet in YOU.

My two stories are both real. They live in different areas of my brain. The right brain is the poet. The left, the engineer.

They both have space in your life.
The poet has more fun.
And so do her readers.

If you haven’t recently crawled out from under a rock, you know the power of storytelling in your ads.

The secret to storytelling is emotion.
The engineer’s tools of rational, linear, and logic don’t create feelings.
They fulfill need.

If the audience doesn’t need it, good money is wasted.
It’s like pounding a nail with the screwdriver. With enough time and effort, the goal is achieved.

The poet’s tools pull the audience into the drama.
They don’t realize they are in the story.
They might love it or hate it.
The poet dances in circles, sings in their ear, flirting with their mind, reminding them of feelings when it’s time to buy.
Poets create desire.

Desire is the poet’s hammer.

Review your ads to see if you’re using the poet’s or the engineer’s toolbox. It’ll help you know what your customers see at their beach.

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