“Magical Thinking. It’s the next big thing. But only for those who have the skill to craft it and the nerve to use it. Do you?“
— Roy H. Williams
What is magical realism if magic is the power of appearing unnatural or supernatural causes to produce physical effects?
Magical realism is a genre of fiction that blurs the lines between what is real and what is fantasy. People often use it to explore themes of reality and unreality, fate and chance, and life and death.
While you may see magic as an escape from the mundane world, magical realism is often used to comment on the human condition. In this way, magical realism can be considered a type of social commentary.
Some examples of magical realism include Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, and Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits.
So what are the seven laws of magical thinking?
Reality Hook in Selling
Selling requires a reality hook. It gets us to tether to the Earth while simultaneously being up in the air with the impossible.
Let’s just take a moment to sit and listen to John Lennon as he writes the lyrics and melody to Imagine, for example. It’s one of the most popular songs of all time.
All we have to do to go there is find the white Steinway piano on which John composed the song. Pay attention to the cigarette burn. It got there when he got distracted and left a cigarette there.
Keep on that cigarette burn. That’s the reality hook, the focal point. It “brings an abstract moment from yesterday into the black and white now.” — Roy H. Williams
Any message’s power is amped when you add detail easily imagined by the audience. Real writers study magical thinking, or magical realism, especially if they want to exist in 21st century America.
How’s your marketing strategy? Is it lacking in the department magically? A flick of the wand won’t fix it, but an understanding of magical realism might. Thankfully for you, Wizard of Ads® are the folks who know about that. If you’re in the residential home services industry, we can help. Book a call.
The Power of Message in an Advertisement
In an advertisement, the message you give has power. The more detail you include, the better. However, if you want your message to have a lasting impact, you must ensure it’s easily imaginable. To do this, you should study magical realism or magical thinking.
What is magical realism in literature? is a genre of fiction that combines magical realism elements of the fantastic and the realistic. It’s often used in advertising because it allows audiences to suspend disbelief and imagine the impossible.
For example, let’s say you’re a plumber who wants to advertise your services. You could say, “I’m a plumber, and I can fix your pipes.” But if you want to add a touch of magic, you might say, “I’m the prophet of plumbing, and I can fix your pipes with the power of my mind.”
Of course, you don’t have to believe in magic to use it effectively. The important thing is that your audience does. The key to using magical realism effectively is to keep the magical elements of the impossible grounded in reality. This way, your audience can still relate to the story and connect with the characters.
Magical Thinking in Magical Realism
“If you are a writer, a real one, you need to study magical thinking. Unlike science fiction and fantasy, the world of magical thinking is this world, and all its impossible events happen in our all-too-familiar universe. The writing style created by magical thinking is called Magical Realism, and you’ll need to be good at it if you want to gain and hold the attention of 21st century America.” – Roy H. Williams
Magical thinking is a form of thinking that allows the impossible to seem possible. It’s a way of viewing the world that sees the magic daily and the extraordinary in the commonplace.
Magical thinking is often used in fiction writing, particularly in the genre of magical realism. In magical realism, writers take readers on a journey into a world where the impossible seems possible. They use elements of fantasy and magic to add intrigue and suspense to their stories while still keeping them grounded in reality.
“The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking” by Matthew Hutson
The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking is a book by Matthew Hutson that explores the ways in which people engage in magical thinking. The book looks at the various biases and errors that people make when they think about the world around them, and how these errors can lead to magical thinking. In his article on Magical Realism in Advertising, Roy H. Williams describes these seven laws of magical thinking:
- Objects Carry Essences: Cooties, Contagion, and Historicity – The imagery of John Lennon sitting at his piano expressed earlier is the best example of this.
- Symbols Have Power: Spells, Ceremonies, and the Law of Similarity – A construction worker buried a Dave Ortiz Red Sox jersey beneath the Yankee Stadium’s new 1.5 billion dollar stadium foundation. Yankee management was not amused by this hex and considered pursuing felony charges against the perpetrator.
- Actions Have Distant Consequences: Using Superstition to Make Luck Work for You – When you flip a coin to make a decision or feel superstitious walking by a black cat, you’re using that superstition to increase the chance that things will work out in your favor.
- The Mind Knows No Bounds: Psychokinesis, ESP, and Transcendence – The Law of Attraction, which underpins the best-selling book The Secret, holds that if you concentrate on something and imagine it in your mind, you will receive it. More than 19 million copies of the book have been sold.
- The Soul Lives On: Death Is Not the End of Us – The message is simple yet powerful: If you dream it, believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible. “There is a land of the living, and a land of the dead and the is bridge love, the only survival, the only meaning.” – Thornton Wilder, last lines of The Bridge of San Luis Rey
- The World is Alive: Animals, Objects, and Gods are People, Too – In her award-winning book The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion discusses how she coped with the loss of her husband. “I stopped at the door to the room. I could not give away the rest of his shoes. I stood there a moment, then realized why: he would need shoes if he was to return.”
In most cases, we never remove our close friends’ phone numbers from our phones because we believe that if we called them, they would answer.
- Everything Happens for a Reason: You’ve Got a Date with Destiny – On safari with his lover, Helen, a writer named Harry goes in Ernest Hemingway’s famous short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro. As he photographs a herd of waterbuck, a thorn scratches his knee, and the wound becomes infected.
As birds circle overhead, Harry dies on a cot in the shade of a tree. “I don’t see why that had to happen to your leg,” says Helen. “What have we done to have that happen to us?” Like most of us, Helen must believe that everything has a purpose.
The Power of the Human Mind
“The human mind is wired to believe the impossible. If you exaggerate just a little bit, you’ll get caught. People will know you’re lying. But promise an utterly impossible thing, and there’s a piece of every listener that will believe you.”
— Roy H. Williams
Your mind is a potent tool. It can create entire worlds and realities that don’t exist. And often, these fabricated worlds are far more exciting and compelling than the boring old “real” world.
That is the power of magical thinking.
Magical thinking is the belief that we can influence the world around us with our thoughts and words. It’s the belief that our thoughts have power.
And while this may sound like a load of hippy-dippy nonsense, there’s some science to back it up.
A study found that people who believe in magical thinking are more likely to see patterns and meaning in random events. In other words, they’re more likely to find significance in things that are just coincidences.
Confirmation bias is known as this tendency to see meaning where there is none. It’s a powerful thing.
Once we believe something, we start to look for evidence that supports our belief and ignore anything that contradicts it.
That is how conspiracy theories are born, how religions start, and how wars begin.
But it’s not all bad. You can use magical thinking for good.
Believing that our thoughts have power can motivate us to achieve our goals. It can help us see possibility where others see only impossibility.
Are you struggling to see the magic in your marketing strategy? Let’s squeeze any ounce we can into it. If you’re a residential home services business owner, book a call with Ryan Chute at Wizard of Ads® today.