The Friendly Faces That Have Changed The Behavior of a Nation

Sometimes a friendly face can send your message better than any words could .. consider the following “friendly face” icons and their impact over the years. mr zipcode

If you think you have challenges – consider how you would convince a nation to use a relatively unknown power source: electricity; or how you could change the behavior of every consumer in the USA or even how to personify a product we all use daily.

If it was your challenge to change the behavior of almost every single human in the United States how would you do it?

If it was your challenge to change behavior of every single human in the United States how would you do it?  Well if you are the United States Post Office you would do it via Mr. ZIP – as in zipcode.  Did you know ZIP stands for Zoning Improvement Plan?

When the Post Office determined in 1963 that there had to be a better way (you have been in plenty of those meetings) to sort mail they came up with adding a 5-digit code to every address in the United States.  Can you imagine those meetings?  Not only did they have to come up with the system and how it would work internally but they had to then get millions of people to change and use the new system.

Mr. WhippleSo what were the results?  It has been 50 years since the 1963 introduction of the ZIP code and Mr. ZIP – and there are now 41,810 zip codes with an average population per zip of about 7,500.  Some states have many zip codes – like California has 2,602 different ones.  Some are small like the state – Rhode Island has 90 different zip codes.  They are not only a standard part of every address but this handy ZIP system also bring much needed data to marketers.

A few other friendly faces that have changed behavior and impacted sales ..

Just how do you personify toilet paper?  Mr. Whipple did it for Charmin brand!

Mr litterbugHow to get people to not litter? Mr. Litterbug used to be on signs on nearly every highway across the United States, introduced in 1963 by the Keep America Beautiful organization.

Reddy KillowattIntroducing electric as a new “flameless” concept? Reddy Kilowatt was introduced in 1926 by electric utilities.

Next time you are charged with marketing something huge and new –

think about Mr. ZIP, Reddy Kilowatt, the Litterbug and Mr. Whipple and know it is possible, and a friendly face really helps!

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