“Strange Doppelganger Appears…Then Someone Else”- (Marketing Incite #315)

15 July Wed, 2020 9:30AM- Thomas Lekhanya

“She looks…different this time,” I thought to myself standing in icy after noon out on the porch two days back.

She took four more steps and I figured it wasn’t her.

My mother’s not that short.

I figured this was doppelganger, yes…

But it was weird how this replica (who was about 8% smaller) had the same grey jersey and jeans , wore the same dull green facemask and had the same walk as my mother.

While looking at the impostor walking up the road the Original appeared to right walking down towards me ten meters away.

I greet my mother and pointed at the forgery.

“Haha there’s your twin,” I said smiling.

She laughs, “Ja, but I’m not that short and also, if yo — …”

“Hello mama!” cuts in some guys voice.

She stopped talking and we turn to look at him.

His smiled through his face full of scars as he stopped in the road with woman he was with who also greeted.

“I’m now better, feeling way much better,” he added.

“That’s good to hear, that’s very good to hear,” my mother said.

They carried on walking and we went in the house.

“Remember the story I told you the other day?” she said, “he’s the man I was telling you about.”

I did remember.

And you’ll soon see what’s this got to do with marketing.

After a recent payday, he decided he’d buy some food after work but he first needed to withdraw some money.

He chose to go to the ATM at the garage one kilometre up the road by taking a shorter path which is formidable for violent muggings at night but okay during the day.

But then a power cut strikes in the area again, (welcome to Africa!), and blackness followed in our neighbourhood including the short route he’d used.

So what does he do?

Does he take another safer, but longer, route back home where there are many people in the streets at the later time than the shortcut?


He walks there and some a guy appears and tells him to stop; he ignores him and keeps walking.

The guy pulls out a gun and again tells him to stop, he said that “he’s working” i.e. “stop so I can rob your ass”.

He decided to fight the gunman and they go at it before the criminal pistol whips on the head and then suddenly he felt punches and kicks coming from another guy…and then another….and another.

They outnumbered him, stole his money and as a result he woke up in hospital days later.

When he recounted the story to my mother he was angry and suspected people in closer him had something to do with it.

You know what I thought?


And then after being judgmental I remembered my own incidence this time last year…

After getting mugged at gun point I discovered listening to Joe Rogan with earphones on while walking in a dangerous section in my previous neighbourhood at night wasn’t a good idea…no matter how “familiar” you I was with the place.

I remember IMMEDIATELY realizing how I fucked up.


In that case, I was responsible for not paying attention.

But as you know — taking responsibility is facking hard!

Which brings us to today’s marketing incite.

(And NO I haven’t forgotten about yesterday’s promise, okay? Stay with me, I’ll keep yesterday’s promise.)

This responsibility shit isn’t easy.

If you pay attention to some ads you’ll notice how advertisers leverage this idea.

Have you seen it?

Here are a few premises I’ve come across in my studies:

1. “…not seeing any gains? It’s not your fault, here’s why…”

2. “…Big Pharma is hiding you from…”

3. “…This is what’s been stopping you from shedding that weight away…”

They’re telling you “it’s not your fault”.

Whether it is or isn’t, the fact that many ads have used probably means it’s helpful.

I’m going to test it if when if I see it’s would relevant to an ad I write.

Will you?


“ But Thomas!” you say, “What about the answer to yesterday’s question about some ‘powerful persuasion principle’?..Tell us wots is it! TELLL USSS!”

Oh yes, of course, here it is.

People respond more strongly to pain than to pleasures or what they stand to gain. Includes losses. That’s what the psychologists say.

Think about it, would you swim fifty meters more quickly if there was a hundred billion billion bucks waiting for you on the other side of the pool or if a gang of tiger sharks were chasing you?

Whew, that was more than the last post, heh?

Imagine what the next post will be like.

Anyway kids, that’s it for today.

-Thomas Lekhanya

P.S Google “Loss Aversion” & “Negativity Bias” to learn more about pain avoidance motivators.

P.P.S. I know tiger sharks are fish and their collective noun should technically be a “school” but c’mon…tiger sharks? “A school of tiger sharks”? GTFO!!

Copywriter | Internet Advertiser | JHB, South Africa