Author: Sharon Lalljee-Richard
Are you ‘for or against’ Shock Advertising?
An excerpt from Wikipedia states:
Shock advertisements can be shocking and offensive for a variety of reasons, and violation of social, religious, and political norms can occur in many different ways. They can include a disregard for tradition, law or practice (e.g., lewd or tasteless sexual references or obscenity), defiance of the social or moral code (e.g., vulgarity, brutality, nudity, feces, or profanity) or the display of images or words that are horrifying, terrifying, or repulsive (e.g., gruesome or revolting scenes, or violence). Some advertisements may be considered shocking, controversial or offensive not because of the way that the advertisements communicate their messages but because the products themselves are “unmentionables” not to be openly presented or discussed in the public sphere. Examples of these “unmentionables” may include cigarettes, feminine hygiene products, or contraceptives. However, there are several products, services or messages that could be deemed shocking or offensive to the public. For example, advertisements for weight loss programs, sex/gender related products, clinics that provide AIDS and STD testing, funeral services, groups that advocate for less gun control, casinos which naturally support and promote gambling could all be considered controversial and offensive advertising because of the products or messages that the advertisements are selling. Shocking advertising content may also entail improper or indecent language, like French Connection‘s “fcuk” campaign.
Facebook Business Pages vs. Websites
Do you believe Facebook Business Pages steal the thunder from traditional websites, given its amazing ease of interaction with users and consumers? Worse, do you see websites being replaced by them all together? What does the future hold? Let’s hear your thoughts!
Advertising legends who walked on water | Pt. 2
“Decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.” David Ogilvy
“There is no such thing as a Mass Mind. The Mass Audience is made up of individuals, and good advertising is written always from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions it rarely moves anyone.” Fairfax Cone
“The more facts you tell, the more you sell. An advertisement’s chance for success invariably increases as the number of pertinent merchandise facts included in the advertisement increases.” Dr. Charles Edwards
“I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive.” David Ogilvy
“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.” William Bernbach
“Ice cubes likely sell more alcohol for the distilling industry than attractive models in cheesecake poses. The inconspicuous ice cubes often hide the invisible sell – invisible, that is, to the conscious mind.” Wilson Bryan Key
“I have learned to respect ideas, wherever they come from. Often they come from clients. Account executives often have big creative ideas, regardless of what some writers think.” Leo Burnett
“Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising.'” Jef I. Richards
“Creativity is an advertising agency’s most valuable asset, because it is the rarest.” Jef I. Richards
Benefits of Advertising in a Down Economy
Businesses that continue to advertise regardless of economic times have a competitive advantage over businesses that trim their ad budgets.
So says a business-to-business (b-to-b) media study conducted by Yankelovich Partners and Harris Interactive. The study showed more than 85 percent of business executives believe advertising during a down economy is extremely important.
B-to-b media is an undisputed ally for advertisers seeking to reach executives about products and services for their businesses. The study, prepared for American Business Media, showed that despite slow economic times, executives rely on b-to-b media for information more than any other media source for the influence or support of purchase decisions.
Advertising during a sluggish economy clearly creates a competitive advantage, according to the study, with a majority of executives agreeing that seeing a company advertise during slower times makes them feel more positive about the company’s commitment to its products and services. But perhaps most important is staying at the top of buyers’ minds when purchase decisions are made.
“For advertisers interested in maximum profit from their investment in b-to-b media, these research results indicate that advertising frequently and capitalizing on the synergistic effect of print, Web sites, blogs, e-mail ads and trade shows is a sure path to increasing awareness, interest and purchase,” said the study authors.
Add to that the fact that there have been dramatic increases in the time executives spend online and that online advertising is a winning strategy. Moreover, the study findings are consistent across industry sectors, making results relevant regardless of business category.
While the Yankelovich/Harris study offers compelling data to support the benefit of advertising especially in slower times, other business gurus also support the theory.
“Advertising in a down economy is even more important than advertising during the good times,” says Joyce Gioia, president of the Herman Group, a firm of strategic business futurists in Greensboro, N.C. “That’s when you can build market share. That’s when you have less competition for share of mind. While others are in a cocoon, hibernating until things blow over, it’s a great time to invest in your business.”
Gioia says sign industry suppliers need to establish themselves as the brand of choice and halting advertising during tough times is counteractive to that goal.
The bottom line is clear: If a company is not communicating with customers when they enter the market, then that company will not be considered in the buying decision. That fundamental truth does not change, regardless of the economy.
While many companies readily understand the value of short-term advertising generating new sales, generating repeat business from existing customers and generating new leads that turn into future sales it can be more difficult to comprehend the long-term value. Think of a snowball rolling down a mountain consistent advertising has a cumulative effect. The more familiar buyers are with your brand, the more likely they are to purchase the brand.
A useful excerpt from Jennifer LeClaire
Rest in peace David.
Voiceovergy joins the entire Advertising Community in extending its deepest condolences to the family and employees of the late David King.
David, a long standing advertising man, never failed to remain optimistic in the line of his profession. He was good at heart, had a candid sense of humor and always brought joy and laughter to the people around him.
His contribution to advertising in Guyana will forever be remembered.
Rest in peace David. Now is your chance to crack some jokes in heaven (and if you get the time, put in a good word for your other Advertising Fellows down here, will you?).
Advertising legends who walked on water | Pt. 1
“Advertising is the foot on the accelerator, the hand on the throttle, the spur on the flank that keeps our economy surging forward.” – Robert W. Sarnoff
“The agency’s account executive should be able to step into the sales manager’s shoes if the sales manager drops dead today.” – Morris Hite
“I have learned that you can’t have good advertising without a good client, that you can’t keep a good client without good advertising, and no client will ever buy better advertising than he understands or has an appetite for.” – Leo Burnett
“It is important to admit your mistakes, and to do so before you are charged with them. Many clients are surrounded by buckpassers who make a fine art of blaming the agency for their own failures. I seize the earliest opportunity to assume the blame.” – David Ogilvy
“I have learned that trying to guess what the boss or the client wants is the most debilitating of all influences in the creation of good advertising.” – Leo Burnett
To advertisers: “Do not compete with your agency in the creative area. Why keep a dog and bark yourself?” – David Ogilvy
“If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” – David Ogilvy
“Too many ads that try not to go over the reader’s head end up beneath his notice.” – Leo Burnett
“People are very sophisticated about advertising now. You have to entertain them. You have to present a product honestly and with a tremendous amount of pizzazz and flair, the way it’s done in a James Bond movie. But you can’t run the same ad over and over again. You have to change your approach constantly to keep on getting their attention . . . .” – Mary Wells Lawrence
“The greatest thing to be achieved in advertising, in my opinion, is believability, and nothing is more believable than the product itself.” – Leo Burnett
The market is in shock. Your brand? Caught in the middle of course.
VAT is here and as per expected, everywhere is swarming with angry, price-conscious shoppers in fear. Most products they usually bought on a normal day has suddenly now fallen off the list – thanks to the ‘C-Tax + VAT’ policy the majority of businesses insist on implementing; a decision I found to be grossly inconsiderate to consumers, inspite of all arguments considered.
How can our products survive this crazy season of vicious price comparisons and slashing shopping lists? Bite the bullet and strike a compromise! Until your old stock is sold, reduce your profit intake and ensure the discount passes onto your customer. If you don’t, your product may very well never be sold before its expiry date.
“It’s still selling, but at a slower than normal pace?” Sure… but think! In the meanwhile, during that slow-coaching, you stand the chance of loosing precious customer loyalty to lesser competitive brands since demand is not likely to decline in the segment. Shoppers are just looking for a cheaper way out.
So now that time is of the essence and your consumers are undecided? Sell! But sell as if you cared about the long term survival of your brand, its customers, and staying in business. Atleast until this ‘old stock’ grievance has passed and the market has adjusted. Consumer salaries are sadly not going to increase, so they can’t afford to be the understanding ones here even if they wanted to be.
If things were different in Guyana, and we practiced a culture of proper ‘brand building’ from the start, price cuts would never be necessary to survive.
Our stronger brands would have ‘equity’, making them invaluable to consumers. The result: price tags become secondary.
Maybe, VAT’s re-arrangement of the marketplace may help us to faster understand the need for better brand standards. Or atleast, here’s to hoping!
Happy VAT, followed by an interesting New Year.
What makes our big agencies small?
In Guyana, we tend to call the agencies with a couple of staff running around, ‘big’ agencies. Which is probably a fair assumption to the untrained eye.
But my friends, we need to measure advertising agencies by its ‘correct units’. In the creative world, it’s ideas, client responsiveness and sales outcomes that matter most.
Not the number of ‘bodies’ that are on the payroll. And most certainly not the number of years an agency has been in existence. It should be about what they are producing TODAY? Is it any good? Are their campaigns increasing the sales of their clients’ products? Are they doing so without compromising the integrity of brands? That level of reasoning.
Now, now! I know local advertising agencies do not have it easy. You struggle in a world where most clients do not value creativity and, where good, trained staff in this particular segment is hard to find.
But those are the challenges we happen to face in Guyana. What’s important is, we must not allow it to change us. We must change it!
Transform the industry man. Bring back the spark and integrity of our advertising profession. Do good work and compel your clients to go with it. Pretty soon, they are bound to get used to higher standards. Just stick with it.
“It’s ok for the Guyana market.”
Let’s examine this dreadful statement – “It’s ok for the Guyana market”. I’ve heard it 4 times in the past 2 weeks already. And quite frankly, I don’t like the connotation.
4 different people, in 4 different business segments, made that very comment when discussing the inferior status of their brand image and marketing approaches. For me that’s alarming! Because it clearly demonstrates how complacent we’ve become about the mediocrity we call our advertising. Mediocrity incurred by choice!
Tell me. Why do we always have to see Guyana as undeserving of better standards? Why do we choose to have such little regard for our brands and the consumers that support them?
This is exactly the line of thinking that keeps us waddling in the struggling economy we complain about. Exactly the reason why we could never reach our full marketing potential as businesses in the developing world.
Many of us represent global brands. With spotless values and solid international reputations. Well atleast up until they get here. We ignore the culture of quality and creativity and slap any ole crap across the media. As many as we can, as fast as we can count it.
Stop tarnishing the image those brands have worked so hard to build. Pay attention to what they stand for and represent them. Cultivate the same level of respect for our local brands as well. So they stand a fighting chance at foreign growth when the time comes.
Your first step is simple. Have the courage to admit, you have not been living up to your brand’s integrity. Then, muster the guts to fix it.
If you’re humble enough to do that, you’re halfway there already…