Advertising is the cost of being boring? ~ Brand Mix

Monday, August 30, 2010

Advertising is the cost of being boring?

Print: Hugh MacLeod (Gaping Void)

Hugh MacLeod created this poster for Andy Servonitz's recent Supergenius conference in New York. It's a popular point-of-view. Here's a variation on the theme from David Taylor: "Great brands are all about the product 'sausage.' And if that product is brilliant it advertises itself." In this view of the world, there's a a pecking order and advertising is being pecked.

The net benefit construct I talked about in my post last week is less judgmental. It says that brand value is determined by the difference in what people are willing to pay its benefits vs. what it costs a company to deliver them. How you get there? That depends on your analysis of what will work and what won't. This analysis, in these days of fragmented media and harder-to-persuade consumers, needs to account for the fact that advertising is not as efficient or reliable as it used to be. But I don't think it's helpful for marketers to go into such an analysis thinking that choosing advertising is a sign of failure.

Take Old Spice, for example. How should a business like that eke out some meaningful brand value? New product and packaging innovation can contribute but it's the Emmi-winning commercial "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" that's really moved the needle. You could argue that Old Spice is an exception and most ads are nowhere near as effective. I'd agree but also point out that there's a ton of wasted effort and cost in other areas of the marketing mix, especially in product innovation. Hey, it's not easy. All the more reason to have an open mind, I think.

1 comment:

Matt Daniels said...

People love to talk about Apple as product gods, but even they advertise and market like traditional firms.

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