Drill, Baby, Drill

by Jade Handy on May 18, 2010

I should have waited to write Fun Making Job Search Fun until today, because I came across several “real-world” examples to show you how this pattern plays out in several contexts.  I like to show multiple contexts for persuasion patterns because if a pattern isn’t applicable to most, if not all contexts, then I ignore it until it pops up in multiple contexts or I decide that it’s not a relevant pattern of persuasion.

I should have waited, but I didn’t.  But, I decided you shouldn’t be punished for my proactiveness and unwillingness to wait for perfection before I get started writing about something.

As we have previously learned, tying two things together is sometimes as simple as using the same words, consecutively.  Unfortunately, the pattern is neutral, it’s the person using it that makes it bad or good.

I came across this first example this morning in this May 16th news story, “A 7-year-old Detroit girl sleeping on a couch was shot and killed early Sunday after a Detroit police officer’s weapon went off while he was searching for a homicide suspect, police said.”  And, assistant Police Chief Ralph Godbee had this to say,

“This is any parent’s worst nightmare. It also is any police officer’s worst nightmare,”

Way to tie those to considerations together.  I’m sure the family of the victim appreciates you elevating an innocent child’s death to the level of a policeman’s guilt.

For a more neutral example, yesterday morning, I was watching the Today Show.  During a commercial for Bank of America, they started each bullet point with

“what if X…, what if Y…, what if Z…”  Then, remarkably, the next commercial was for Jackie Chan’s new movie.  Unexpectedly, the first words of the commercial script were “what if …” something about what if someone was somebody or something or other.

The X, Y, and Zs of this are of no consequence since it’s the pattern is what we’re after here, not the content.

Now, I’m sure there’s no way that advertising creative excutives would plot this into the script and be able to tie two consecutive commercials together to get your unconscious mind to connect fraudulent-bank feelings about Bank of America to a “Cool!” feeling that a good portion of the country has towards Jackie Chan, but nonetheless, I can continue to conspire to think so.

And, finally, during the Today Show, in a newsworthy interview regarding the Gulf oil disaster and, specifically, the underwater oil problem, an underwater oil worker said,

“most people are concerned with the oil on the surface, we’re concerned with the oil under the surface.”

Or something to that effect.  Again, you’ll notice the repeated words and phrases used to link the two concepts.  This helps to instill the idea so that you remember it and are influenced to believe that they are concerned.  Now, to be fair, I don’t think he was coached to say this (I’m actually not a conspiracy theorist).  He probably believes it to be true and honestly wants to communicate this message to those concerned.

But, this just goes to show that these patterns occur naturally during moments of persuasive communication.  Which, BTW, means you can, too, use them to the same end.


Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.
Napoleon Hill

It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.
Muhammad Ali

You affect your subconscious mind by verbal repetition.
W. Clement Stone

Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
Norman Vincent Peale

Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.
Earl Nightingale

It is not the simple statement of facts that ushers in freedom; it is the constant repetition of them that has this liberating effect. Tolerance is the result not of enlightenment, but of boredom.
Quentin Crisp

Constant repetition carries conviction.
Robert Collier

The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.
W. H. Auden

This is the lesson that history teaches: repetition.
Gertrude Stein

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffgresh/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

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