I can clearly remember (and so can my brother) being on the playing field at primary school in 1969 and hearing an almighty crash in the sky.
To our untrained brains, it sounded like the Moon crashing into the Earth. It was, in fact, a sonic boom created by Concorde hitting Mach 1.
Born out of the white heat optimism of the 1960s that produced the Moon landings, Concorde was a symbol for the 10-year old me and an entire generation.
I never got to fly on it, and by 2003, British Airways and Air France had pulled the plug.
In all honesty, it never actually achieved its commercial potential because half the world’s cities said it was too loud. The final nail in the coffin was the crash taking off from Paris in the year 2000.
It had become “uneconomical” to run.
However, after the announcement, sales went through the roof.
Why was that?
Nothing has changed about Concorde itself:
- It didn’t fly any faster (there was no faster plane on Earth)
- The service didn’t suddenly get better (it was already pretty much top notch)
- The airfare didn’t drop (at five grand for a London to New York ticket…)
- David Frost didn’t block book all the seats (that may have been true!)
It simply became more scarce as a resource, and as a result, people wanted it more.
People want more of what that they can’t have.
We’re more sensitive to possible losses than possible gains.
All those furniture stores that advertise on TV by saying “Sale must end Sunday” use the same technique.
Therefore, it may be worthwhile to switch your advertising campaigns message from your product benefits to emphasising the potential for wasted opportunity:
- Don’t miss this chance
- Here’s what you miss out on
You’ve seen it loads of times and it works.