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with Don Blazer
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Don't Kiss a Horse

       I'm sick of seeing girls kissing horses on the nose!

       You think I don't see it very often?  Think again!

       I just glanced through a magazine that touts itself as offering good advice for the health and care of horses.  No less than five (5) advertisements featured a girl kissing a horse on the nose.

       The first good advice the magazine could offer is "don't kiss a horse on the nose; it's dangerous."

       A horse's head is going to average about 40 pounds of solid bone.  If he accidentally bangs you with it, he's going to break your nose or knock your teeth out.  So, kissing a horse on the nose is a very dumb thing to do.  (I know, I know, you've done it for years and nothing bad has ever happened.  Let me assure you, nothing good has ever happened either.) 

      If I had a horse product to sell and I hired an advertising agency and the agency suggested an advertisement featuring a girl kissing a horse on the nose, I'd have to fire the advertising agency for at least three reasons. 

       1. No creativity. Totally trite.  There's going to be four other advertisers in the same medium with a much-to-similar ad.

       2. I don't want the liability of advocating a dangerous action.

       3.  The advertisement doesn't sell my product.

     How lacking in value must a product be that you can't find something interesting to say about it?  You have to resort to a girl kissing a horse on the nose.

      I thought you were supposed to offer benefits, benefits, benefits to your potential customer, not cliché, cliché, cliché.

     How can the central theme of an advertisement be a girl kissing a horse on the nose?  What could it possible be selling?

      I'm also sick of seeing a girl lying on a horse's back; she's either lying on her back on the horse's back, or she's lying on her stomach draped half-way up the horse's neck.

      It's a very dumb thing to do, especially when the girl is barefoot, isn't wearing clothing suitable for riding, is on the horse in the middle of pasture and the horse has no bridle or halter.

      What is this person advertising?

      Usually that she is a "horse trainer."

      What exercise or movement can she possible be teaching this horse?

      Now I'm not too smart…but luckily, you don't have to be very smart to be a horse trainer-it isn't rocket science.  I know this for a fact, because several years ago "I were one." 

      I'm not going to tell you that I was a great horse trainer…my goodness there are hundreds and hundreds who were better…but I was adequate.  I managed to support a family, pay my bills, and save some money just training horses.

      I attracted my clients by presenting the facts: I could produce competitive show horses and race winners-here's my record.

      I didn't lie on a horse's back gazing into the blue Texas sky.   And I've noticed that none of the successful trainers I've known, interviewed or competed against ever did that.

      We all did follow a single professional rule: "Around horses, don't do anything brave.  You have to show up every morning."

      Maybe tomorrow I'll count how many advertisements there are for horse supplements making "unfounded" claims.
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