Business, Industry

Sex and your advertising.

You’re heard it before – sex sells! Then, you see everyone getting excited about advertising. Draping half-naked women over bonnets in automobile commercials and showing legs and skin to convince viewers to buy tech gadgets. Even the ladies on those inescapable ‘call-in-programs’ are now wearing dangerous bosom-boosting low cuts. Pleading with our kids to “act responsibly, have safe sex”.

Well! I regret to inform, many of us are misusing this theory of sex in advertising. Yes this approach tends to get people’s attention. But it stops there. It does not convince them to buy. And it certainly does not help to put your brand in their ‘good books’. This equals wasted advertising in the real world my friends.

The truth is: sex does sell. But it only sells when it’s relevant to your product. A few instances of when it may be… are in ads for beauty and cosmetic products. When naked or skimpily attired models can show the actual results of a product’s usage on their bodies. Making the element of ‘skin’ relevant. Even health foods could be considered suitable depending on their benefits.

I know! Some advertisers in Guyana may want to argue that they are quite contented with getting people’s attention full stop. Their other promotional efforts will close the sale. Again, you’re putting too much at stake.

When you wildly drop sex and seductive imagery in your ads regardless of relevance, you send the message that the brand is shallow, desperate. “My product does not have any real benefits to offer you, so hey! I’ll give you pretty faces with legs and boobs instead”.

Stop this nonsense of prostituting your product. It’s the only way you’ll build a strong brand with integrity that sells. In many cases, your products are great! They offer sound benefits. Convince consumers by promoting that instead. You’ll find over time, my advice paid off in dollars.



What do you expect from your ad agency?

It would be interesting to know what you thought of the service your local ad agency provides you. Here's your chance.

Make suggestions of what you'd like and/or give examples of what you hate. But be aware, any direct negative comments regarding named agencies may be edited to remain objective. Don't let that stop you though. Blog on.


Business, Industry

Guyana’s ugly ads need fixing.

So you have a business and you advertise. You, or perhaps your ad agency, designs something that looks like 'a set of words and pictures thrown into a square box on a page'. But that’s ok. You then spend good money to print it for all Guyana to see, only to have few or no one respond to your offer. What gives?

You are suffering from a classic case of ugly advertising my friend. The kind that never sells but only compels your customer to turn the page. Leaving them open to the other guy's sales leads.

Ask for some advice, I'll give it. Send me specific questions, if you feel your advertising could do with a face lift. This is no time to be lazy. Do something. You're loosing customers and paying to do so, every time you publish one of those ugly ads in Guyana's newspapers.


Business, Industry

Is your ad agency really on your side?

It's my view that most advertising agencies in Guyana, don’t really care about building their clients' brands or generating sales for their products. They merely collect your money (sometimes premium amounts at that), only to return poor creative work. Work that often lacks sales strategy and the simple ability to convince your customers to buy.

Do you know how to tell if you're being ripped off? If you believe you are, send me your scenario, without openly mentioning the agency’s name. There are things you can do today to start getting value for your money.


Business, Industry

He said, “Advertising is like painting a house!”

Much to my dismay, in a recent conversation with a good friend of mine (a very established Guyanese businessman), he blurted out, "Advertising is like painting a house! It's straight forward. No real academic or technical principles apply. You just do it… it's a no-brainer".

Boy was I furious! But I kept my cool, realizing that the real issue was – that's exactly what most clients in Guyana thought. And it’s this sort of thinking which has us stuck in this cesspool of poor advertising to begin with. If a client knew better, he/she could then demand or appreciate better.

The reality is, good advertising is a special skill. One that’s just as academic as it is artistically flexible. It is governed by specific principles of design, strategy and the craft of persuasive copywriting.

Until we can acknowledge this in Guyana and further, apply it, our ads will remain the ugly, non-selling wastes of money they are.