Show, Don't Tell – U.S. Navy Blue Angels

This weekend I went to the Nantucket Air Show, featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team. The Blue Angels (and the Air Force Thunderbirds) are truly impressive, not only as an awesome display of precision flying, but also as a terrific marketing tool.


Young people see the six Boeing F/A-18 Hornets zooming in tight formation and many say: "I want to do that too." I've always said that marketing is much better when the approach is "show, don’t tell." In this example, don't tell me that it is cool to be in the military, show me.

A Blue Angels flight demonstration exhibits choreographed refinements of skills possessed by all naval aviators. It includes the graceful aerobatic maneuvers of the four-plane Diamond Formation, in concert with the fast-paced, high-performance maneuvers of its two Solo Pilots. The Blue Angels are scheduled to fly nearly 68 air shows at 35 locations in the United States during the 2006 season. Last season brought out more than 17 million spectators. Recruiters were at the event to answer questions and encourage people to join the Navy.

Of course, we all don't have hundreds of millions of dollars of air power to demonstrate our capabilities. But every organization has something that can be demonstrated, given away, or showcased in some way.

What about your organization? How can you show people that you’re the right choice to do business with? How can you encourage people to join your group, vote for your candidate, buy your product, or donate money to your cause?

David Meerman Scott

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