Monday, 21 January 2013


Nobody In Advertising Appeared To Notice

When it was reported that 65% of all marketing spend had no effect on

consumers! Despite the fact that working in Advertising is not rocket

science, accountability is not a strong factor, creativity is! As more and

more evidence emerges as to the failure of advertising to do what it says it

does. Sell products/services, there are some errors that advertising people

commonly make. One is a complete failure to learn from experience. The other is

the advertising ego. Advertising people hate facing up to information like 65%

of all marketing spend had no effect because that forces us to acknowledge that

they aren't as clever as they make themselves out to be! These

unpalatable truths contribute to the increasing problems facing advertising,

like the meaningless noise syndrome. Together with a total lack of

understanding as to the true meaning of the word accountability, or, for that

matter communication. This declining effectiveness is due, in part, to

an earlier perception that over-estimated advertising's power. In the

industry's days of dominance, peopled believed it could change the ways

consumers think and behave, not just influence them to favour one brand in a

category they were already considering. In earlier days there was a

faith than when there was little objective difference among products, an

emotion-laden image is always used as a motivator. Much of this sense of

advertising's enormous power and the almost inevitable effectiveness of image

advertising grew as mass advertising followed mass manufacturing in the 50s'

and 60s. Mass manufacturing led to one-size-fits-all products. Local,

individualised, and speciality products disappeared, and mass consumerism was

achieved, yet strangely the recent statements on Advertising is a no win situation,

appears to trouble the Advertising Community not at all! Perhaps that is

because their bosses do not see through the fudges. The division of

labour that makes companies efficient in so far as they are is also a division

of knowledgeso why keep a dog and bark yourself? And who really wants (or

cares) to discover what communication really is? Frankly it shows us that

organisations can't always be run effectively, even when managed by highly

intelligent people. So why should advertising people pretend that that is not

also true of Advertising Agencies? The idea of advertising progress is

as enduring as any. Beyond the occasional doubt, advertising people do need to

believe that everything is all right in the world of make believe. So

the message of technological innovation, the computer, the Internet or Web 2.0,

the Mobile Telephone et al is received readily. Certainly with regard to

effective communication this perception of technological progress is mistaken.

The poor old customer, or in advertising speak, Consumer, does not want

to take delivery of even more messages, after all they do not appear to be

taking much notice of the messages that exist already! Perhaps we should

practice what Virgil preached, advertising should consist of always going

forward backwards!

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