Turned on the news Monday at 6:15am, as I do each morning, and the first story I heard was a memorial piece on Jack LaLanne… the man that seemed he would live forever.
As long as I can remember, Jack LaLanne has graced our TV sets. From crazy feats of strength on his birthday featured on the evening news to endorsements on tempting, as-seen-on-tv-infomercial products, Jack LaLanne was the picture of health, fitness, & amazingly sincere marketing/PR. I don’t know this for sourced fact, but in the 1950s “The Jack LaLanne Show” had to be one of the first nationwide syndicated TV programs; without a doubt the first of its kind. Starting with a string of gyms & a syndicated TV show, wearing a manly jumpsuit and ballet slippers, Jack was way ahead of his time.
Jack LaLanne believed 100% in what he was “selling”. He followed through, he lived the lifestyle, he used the products, and people bought it. And kept buying it! Ahead of the quality of his published books & vitamin supplements endorsed, Jack’s number one selling point was his sincerity. People bought into his vision, because it was his vision. He never allowed his reputation or brand to be tarnished. He held his reputation up with just as much importance as the products & shows he pushed. According to his agent, he exercised up to the end – the age of 96. A fact that I can’t imagine anyone would dispute or argue. In 1988 Jack LaLanne was quoted, “I hate exercise, but I like the results”.
What am I getting at with all of this? More than a fitness guru, Jack was a media (and PR) guru. Keeping that in mind, here’s what I think Jack would tell those of us in the media, advertising, & PR Industry:
1. Believe in what you are “selling”.
2. Live what you are selling.
3. Never stop selling.
4. You may hate advertising, but you’ll never hate the results.