People hate advertisers.
In a recent poll by Gallup, we are on the bottom 3 – right there with the classic used car salesman and Congress.
To a certain extent, I also think we deserve it.
People are bombarded with over 5,000 advertising messages today, according to the New York Times, up from 2,000 the previous year. That’s 5,000 conversations we are trying to start with consumers, millions upon millions of dollars of spending.
To break through the clutter, we try to spend more, execute bigger ads, promise wild benefits. But very few advertisers ever take a moment to stop and consider whether there’s a way to make our conversation more pleasing.
It helps if you think of every advertising you create as an interruption in her day. She wasn’t expecting to see you – you decided to show up in her life. How do you do so in a graceful, engaging and fun way that makes her feel good about that interruption?
Most people think a funny, or emotionally manipulative ad is the answer. That’s definitely a step in the right direction, but the other solution is to find a way to talk about the benefit that you provide in a way that consumers haven’t thought about it before. This has a greater advantage – it teaches them something about your product, and keeps the dramatic focus on what you’re trying to tell them – taking your communication from a hollow entertainment to something both useful and rewarding.
Make Your Demonstration Extreme with Savvy Understanding of Pop Culture
The recent Volvo Truck viral has taken an extremely ordinary benefit of stability/dynamic steering and made it extraordinary with an injection of pop culture via the incomparable Jean Claude van Damme.
Authentically Comment and Enthusiastically Participate in the Culture You’re Part Of
Nike recently developed a line of shoes in honor of Calvin Johnson (nicknamed Megatron), where they teamed up with Hasbro to develop an actual Megatron/Transformers inspired tribute limited edition of just 81 pairs (Calvin’s number). It comes with its own transformer (made by Hasbro), and a special feature cardboard box that also transforms.
It’s a ridiculous excess for such a small execution. But it secured massive PR engagement and support because it was the kind of ridiculous thing a brand does because they’re authentically passionate about the same things their supporters are.
Show How Your Products Deliver to a Higher Purpose…and Commit To It
This can be a tricky one to get right. Beauty brands go for confidence/self-esteem so often consumers have given up, unless you have a comment that is sharp and focused, such as Real Beauty (Dove).
But if you are topical, you can definitely breakthrough, such as with the recent Goldieblox viral ads. Goldieblox makes toys for girls that have an engineering/science bent, and their recent ad is in all ways a full throated embrace of the gender stereotypes that exist amongst girls toys. This might seem pretty obvious and easy given their brand; however; when you watch the ad, notice that Goldieblox used their competing products instead of their own for most of the ad, and Goldieblox products themselves are barely shown.
The whole ad is focused on making a point on their purpose. Oh, and also showing off a Rube Goldberg machine that (let’s face it) we’ve always wanted to build when we were kids.