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The Carrot Blog

Life lessons from advertising

No is the easy way out.

No is the end.

It means I don't have to think about it anymore. I don't have to put any more energy to it, and I can forget about it. I can move on to the next thing to say "no" to. Even when it comes to dating, it's easier to say "no," and make excuses. I'm busy. I'm working late. I'm tired. Excuses after excuses that is synonymous with a simpler "no."

yes in large red letters

Just as many dating analogies, the same applies to business. It's easier to say no than push forward, do something unexpected and break norms. After working on luxury brands for the last couple of years, I can say that it's hard for many of these brands to confidently tread where few have gone before.

This week Mercedes launched an online video that surprised me, caught my attention and was compelling enough to share. The brand recently partnered with Casey Neistat, a film producer and director who gained success over the last couple of years on YouTube. The story goes that they gave him full creative control to create a commercial for one of their newest and most affordable models, the $29,900 CLA.

The result — a hyper-charged commercial featuring hip music, an established and creative director and buzz that reached core target audiences. Ultimately Neistat created four videos to bring to life the entire process from conception and research to a final "commercial."

From an advertiser's perspective, I was thrilled that Mercedes has the gusto to let their hair down and release some creative freedom to Neistat. Mercedes realized that if they wanted to appeal to the rising affluent millenial they had to do something different. The same typical luxury car ads wouldn't cut it.

It was brave and bold.

They said yes.

With slightly less to lose due to his irreverent and comedic position, Jimmy Kimmel launched a video that gained the type of traction that brands wish they could achieve. He almost broke the Internet with his prank on 11 million people (The reveal video now has even more views at 13 million). In a matter of days, the Worst Twerk Fail Ever took the Internet by storm, and in true comedic timing he claimed full credit days later.

It worked. This little "stunt" will increase views to both his digital channels and his late night TV show, all because he said yes.

Greatness doesn't happen when you say no.

It happens when you have the guts to say yes.