Sep 28, 2009

In Search of Advertising That Sells

When was the last time you saw an ad that made you want to buy the product? I'm not talking about feeling good towards the product. I'm talking about a burning desire to get the product. For me, it has been too long since that has happened. And yes, I do work in the advertising business.

Bad advertising costs more

Seeing companies running lousy ad campaigns was the reason how got interested in the advertising in the first place. How did I know that money was being thrown out of windows even before actually working in the advertising? You don't have to be Einstein to realize that something is out of place when it comes to ads.

Do this simple test. Think back to the last time you watched TV. Try to memorize the last commercial break.
In your mind place yourself in sitting in front your TV. Are you there now? When you are, try to memorize which products were advertised on that last commercial break you saw? Just picture any product or an ad you remember. How many items can you recall?

Do I have your attention now? I'm betting you can remember only one or zero ads from the last commercial break you saw on TV.

What is wrong in the advertising if it doesn't sell? In my opinion advertising has no other function than to sell. To sell your product, service or idea. (If you know a different function for advertising, please write it to the comment field below.) Where do you learn how to sell? In art schools? In business schools? What you think? If you think you will learn to sell in the school, then I'm more than happy come to your faculty as a full-time student. However, if you think that schools may not be the best place for you to learn selling, how come most people in the advertising industry comes from schools?

People with a wrong education is the reason why I think today's advertising costs more and more, and sells less and less. Many people,
with a lack of motivation, are in the ad business. Rather than trying to sell client's products, art directors and copywriters are simply satisfying their own urges to play and have fun on their client's expense. The most advertising people have the need to be creative for almost at whatever the cost. For years I have been against advertising, if it's only trying to be creative. Here is the biggest reason why I feel so strongly about the topic:

“When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product." -David Ogilvy

There is still hope for those of us who demand advertising that sells. Hang on. The internet is soon becoming a vital part of every form of work. It means that everything can be measured. With the measurement we can finally prove to advertisers that simply being creative is not enough, you need advertising that sells. One of my favorite bloggers Seth Godin wrote an excellent post about how we all will work on a commission soon, whether we like it or not. I'm looking forward to it.

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