How to Use the Simple Power of Contrast to Become More Persuasive

How to Use the Simple Power of Contrast to Become More Persuasive

Reader Comments (24)

  1. that shark coconut thing is made up, but like all great internet myths, it’s so ridiculous, you remember it.

    Using contrast you can also frame things to make them look good or bad, for example:

    Why do school lunches cost $40 per person per day, when you can take your family for dinner for less than $30

    Why will the Board of Education buy toilet seats for $300 but only spend $40 on school lunches?

  2. Sorry to hear about your cousin… it seems the things that are dangerous and the things we are most afraid of don’t always match up.

  3. so what you’re saying is in fact this: we should prepare ourselves with statistical data on whatever the objections of a potential customer might be.

    great! a lesson to remember! and use!

    [is a design blog]

  4. On your point about reframing to overcome fear, I once trained as a hypnotherapist and heard a story about a guy that was scared of flying as he thought that he would get bombed by terrorists. The therapist told him that there was a one in a million (not the right figure) chance of this happening. The subject replied that although this was on the right track he played the lottery and still didn’t like those odds.
    The next session the therapist came back and said “how about if I made those odds one in a billion, would that be good enough for you?”
    The Subject aggreed but asked how this was possible, to which the therapist replyed, “The chances of there being two bombs on a plane are a billion to 1, therefore the solution, take a bomb on the plane with you!”

  5. Okay, this is just a request to write more on this idea someday. I’m still a little hazy about the practical use of it in situations besides coconuts and sharks. I’m getting better at headlines though. So by next year, I oughtta have this one down pat!

  6. > Coconuts kill 150 people each year, which is more than are killed by sharks.

    Did you know that 42% of all statistics are just made up on the spot? 😉

  7. It’s actually 42.7%…

    So funny, that quote is on the church marquee down the street, and I almost used it as a headline for a post on specificity. 🙂

  8. The coconut deaths are usually caused by severe weather like hurricanes. A coconut traveling at 150 MPH would easily rip your head off if you got in its way.

    We have a guy out here who sells “Coconut Proof Glass” so people can protect their homes form things like that.

  9. You are on point with the contrasting!

    Understanding of this method is not only important if you are to position your marketing offer correctly but it should be considered a law. Use it and watch your results improve.

    Great article.

  10. In Africa, at least, many of the ‘donkey deaths’ would be from car accidents – ask anyone who has tried driving through somewhere like Botswana on the main roads, especially in the poor light hours (for example – Ghanzi to Maun).

    But donkeys and coconuts aside, this idea of using contrast is a good example of one of the techniques we all know, but seldom consider when building our blog posts.

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