Paul Harvey and the Education of America


I am sometimes amazed at what I can absorb from my exposure to advertising despite a minimum level of engagement. As I shave and brush my teeth every morning before work I listen to the radio we have in our bathroom which is usually set to KGMI. I hear the news, ads and Paul Harvey. What’s interesting is how much more information I absorb from Paul Harvey’s ads compared to most other ads.

Paul Harvey is the last of the old guard in radio. A warm on-air personality, a graceful delivery of news and commentary, and his hallmark phrase signally an upcoming ad And now, page 2. Friends, I’d like to tell you about (insert product here) or Judy of Plano, Texas writes: Dear Mr. Harvey. My new Bose radio is amazing…

Consumers tend to naturally tune out, or at the very least, be very wary of most advertising. As a fellow wary consumer, what’s remarkable to me is how the opposite seems to be true with Mr. Harvey’s ads. In an age of jaded consumers Paul Harvey’s ads sound like word-of-mouth advertising from someone you can trust. His delivery is inviting, and even though a lot of products seem targeted towards senior citizens, he makes the message so inviting that I wind up listening.

His great voice and demeanor aside, Paul Harvey’s greatest skill is his ability to educate the consumer – which is not an easy task. Everything I know about ocular nutrition and Bose radios I have absorbed from listening to Paul Harvey as I brush my teeth. I’ve never bought any of the products he advertises but that doesn’t mean he’s failed to do his job. Product sales aside, companies pay Paul Harvey to pitch their products for the benefit of just being associated with him and leveraging his reputation. To Paul Harvey listeners, association with the great broadcaster means your products are perceived as being trustworthy and have gained a stamp of approval from Mr. Harvey.

In the end, Trust + Education = Sales

If you’ve never heard Mr. Harvey in action, give him a listen here.

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