One of advertising’s roles is to change peoples’ attitudes. Some might call this image or brand advertising, which is quite different from retail or transactional advertising. General Motors is really bad at brand advertising. They try hard and spend money but for some reason it rarely changes attitudes.
Samsung, using the work of the Arnell Group, was one of the first corporations to strike me as getting it. It was back in the 90s when the word Samsung conveyed second tier products, cheap electronics and dollar-store imagery. Using Peter Arnell’s mind and, I believe, his camera, Samsung displayed its products around NYC on big black, white and gray outdoor posters, alongside sexy human images. A ripped torso carrying a microwave may sound silly but is was artful. It burnished then polished the Samsung image.
Bosch is doing the same today with a product-based image campaign showing off a number of its stylish household appliances. In my mind Bosch was famous for brake shoes and audio products, not refrigerators and dishwashers. But the print ads I’ve been seeing over the last few months have made me notice how beautifully designed these appliance are. The consistent advertising tells me they are here to stay and the engineering heritage borrowed from memory compliments the pictures and words. I would definitely buy a Bosch appliance now. Image.
Without an image transactions are fleeting. Understand your brand — its past and present. Decide where you want to go and make that part of your brand plan. Toss out overused words like “innovation” and “remarkable” and “engagement.” Get in touch with your image goal and build a brand plan. Sales will follow. Peace.
PS. Image can be built using new digital media. In fact, it can be build much faster. But it has to be “on plan” and focused.