Monday, April 06, 2009

Needing the right advertising

In his post We Need The Right Advertising Chris Brogan says that advertising is losing its impact because, "Most advertising fell off its original premise: to inform." While I agree advertising isn't as focused on informing people as it once was (and I mentioned as much in my social media presentation) I disagree that's the reason traditional advertising is losing its oomph.

Chris goes on to say, "All that’s required next are the minds and the passions to deliver the new (and by new, I might mean very old) advertising to people who seek to be informed instead of entertained."

I disagree. The reason advertising used to be information-heavy was because it was really the only place you could find out about a product or service short of making a trip to the store. Nowadays if I want to know about any product I can jump online and find anything and everything about it.

The exception to that rule is introducing a new product: Doing a national TV campaign is much better than simply updating your website and hoping someone 1. notices and 2. cares enough to pass the information along.

Two examples of what I'm talking about:

1. Ford runs a TV campaign to announce its new cross-over vehicle, the Flex. This is good way to get the word out to a bunch of people because otherwise they wouldn't know it existed. (Although the ads are probably low on the concept/emotional spectrum. But I digress.)

2. Ford runs a TV campaign showing a F150 pulling a lot of stuff and driving over rocks saying it's "best in its class," gets 15 miles per gallon and has keyless entry. This is dumb. It's a bunch of information I didn't ask to for and is readily available to me online should I want to find it. It doesn't create an emotional tie to anything (straight information rarely does) and therefore does little to benefit the product or the brand.

Yelling the same thing over and over doesn't change minds.

If people already know about your product you don't need to pack an ad full of information about it. Knowing an F150's gas mileage, that it has keyless entry and even that it's "best in its class" isn't going to sell me on one. It probably won't even make me think of it more favorably.

However, if an ad engages me emotionally or intellectually (through humor, entertainment, etc.) and tells me no more about the product than where to find more information online the ad has accomplished something that most other ads won't.

Thoughts? Sound off in the comments.