Advertising – a load of bull, or a worthy investment?

It’s everywhere. Advertising

From the moment you open your eyes in the morning you are subjected to a barrage of advertising. Whether it’s on the radio, in newspapers, on billboards, on the Tube, bus or train…everywhere you go, it’s staring you in the face.

But are you taking any notice of it?

Have a think about yesterday – how many adverts do you remember seeing?

I’m willing to bet not that many.

That’s quite worrying if you’re in the advertising industry.

In Dave Trott’s book ‘Predatory Thinking – A Masterclass in Out-thinking the Competition’ (well worth a read by the way), he stated that out of an annual £18.3 billion spend (that’s on all forms of advertising):

  • 89% of advertising isn’t noticed or remembered
  • 4% is remembered positively
  • 7% is remembered negatively

So that means UK businesses are wasting £17.3 billion. That’s got to hurt.

But advertising isn’t about producing something clever. Granted it needs to get you noticed (even if it as one of the 7%), but more than that, it needs to make people want to buy.

There’s a lot of talk these days about using advertising to raise brand awareness. That’s just a way for advertising agencies to produce ads that aren’t measureable.

According to Wikipedia, advertising is:

“…a form of communication for marketing…used to encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience…to continue or take some new action.”

To my mind that means buying.

Your advertisement, in whatever form it takes, has to sell, otherwise what’s the point?

So when planning your next advertisement project think about your customers and what will make them buy – I’m pretty sure it’s not a flash ad that doesn’t tell them anything (O2’s ‘Be more dog’ springs to mind).

  • What do they want?
  • Why do they need it?
  • What will it mean to them when they have it?

Answer those questions and you’ll be on your way to a raft of new customers.

What do you reckon?

What’s your take on this?

Is advertising too much about agencies touting for awards? Has the whole concept of advertising (i.e. to sell) been lost?

When was the last time you were sold to by an advert? What made it stand out for you?

Leave a comment below as this is a subject that needs a good debate.


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos
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