As a kid who grew up in the ad business, I’ve seen a lot of ad craft. Today, as a brand planner it’s hard for me to look at advertising without a jaundiced eye. When I see ink and words and picture, but not strategy, I cringe. Worse when I see an ad with 7 strategies.
Who is approving this stuff?
The best advice I learned in the ad business was “focus.” There is a research convention in advertising called “Day After Recall Testing,” in which a magazine is sent to a consumer paid to read it. A day later they are called and questioned about the ad content. Most common recall is tied to the pictures; rarely the words. If the words relate to the pictures all the better. It’s a great litmus for effective advertising.
Trinet is a smart benefits and HR outsourcing company. Sorry to pick on them again. But I read and expensive ad they published today, delivering what they feel it their brand claim: Incredible. That’s an ad claim, not a brand claim, by the way. The ad suffers from the “fruit cocktail effect” in that it is pushing 6 corporate good-ats: Expertise (oy), Access, Benefits, Guidance, Technology and Freedom. All under the “Incredible” umbrella. James Joyce would be proud.
If this ad campaign is not done in-house I’d be surprised. If done by an agency, I’d be ashamed.
Smart marketing starts with a smart, actionable, endemic brand strategy.