Don't forget to entertain while you promote. Learn from @chevrolet.

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I met an idiot on Twitter recently. Sometimes it seems this happens on a daily basis. In addition to being an idiot, this person seemed to be mad at advertising. OK, maybe I'm coming off a little strong. This person may not be an idiot or mad at advertising. After all, I only saw two tweets. But those tweets spoke volumes.

How did it start?

I saw a promoted tweet from Chevrolet. The following one, actually. (By the way, I love promoted tweets. You shouldn't scoff at them as so many people do. Marketing is what makes the world of commerce go round. Embrace it.)

I replied to this comment: "absolutely nothing to do with that stupid car." I simply said, "But much more entertaining than normal car commercials. It's about brand recognition, not the car specifically."

And what lovely reply did I get?
it's about coercion using catchy music and cultural fashion to manipulate simple minds like yours into buying crap
Here are the things I said in response, put together into one paragraph, though it took several tweets to say it all.
Egotistical statements like that is why the world is broken. If you buy a car strictly from a commercial, you are stupid. I market for a living. I understand the need to sometimes entertain, over simply inform. Entertainment can lead to research… Research leads to an informed decision, but it all started with a catchy tune. So, I'm not simple-minded. Far from it.
And just to make myself feel superior, even if just for a moment, I ended with this: "Also, I don't judge people from a simple tweet. Though your tweet spoke volumes about your state of mind." Yeah, I know. It probably made me look just as bad as the other person, but it's the truth. I call that person an idiot and mad at advertising. Perhaps they are. Perhaps they aren't. Either way, the principle stands.

You can't forget to entertain while you promote.

But how?

First, don't be all business all the time. Allow yourself to yourself mostly, but at anything really. Connect with others who can do the same and laugh with and at one another. It's an amazing feeling, once you throw away the idea that you have to be stiff and professional all the time.

No, you don't.

However, don't take that as liberty to be unprofessional. There's a wide gulf between professional and unprofessional. Find your happy spot in between.

Second, inform in a fun way. That's putting it simply. But think about it for a second. Did you have fun writing that stupid little "Buy my book" tweet? Your readers are going to treat it the same way. Think of fun ways to inform.

Despite what the person said on Twitter, I think Chevrolet did inform during their mostly entertaining ad. What was the message? For me it was that driving that car is fun.

So, was it manipulation on the part of Chevrolet? Of course. But that's what advertising is for. You are trying to get people to do something that they weren't going to do before they saw your message.

Yes, hopefully they take something from it, more than just a catchy tune, but if they weren't entertained, your promotion probably did nothing. After all, don't you remember funny commercials more than the others?

(By the way, I take back the possiblity that this person isn't an idiot. They sure are from the latest reply: "shut the @#$% up and stop trying to justify marketing bullshit and how it manipulates people, you stupid @#$%ing sheep.")