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Archive for November, 2012

Stardate November 1st 2555

I read an interesting article in The Guardian the other day by George Prest of RGA.

One of many, recently, claiming the death of advertising.

He was saying how the brand design, and how the total brand experience is designed is more important now than a superficial advert, and he used soap as his hypothetical brand.

Now I agree with a lot of what he wrote.

But he’s really not talking about soap. He’s describing a company like Apple.

And here’s where the ad community (agencies and clients alike) have been slowly slitting their wrists.

Apple is often held up as the way to go, marketing-wise. Hardly surprising given it’s the world’s most valuable company, selling products at a massive premium over its competitors.

But it makes products people actively desire.

Whereas, the two biggest advertisers in the world, P&G and Unilever, for example, don’t.

They make products that people perceive they need. To prevent body odour, dandruff, tooth decay, skin blemishes and so on…

BIG difference.

So whilst an Apple-style brand experience works across all levels and people genuinely do become advocates of the brand, because they love the products, most people don’t give a toss about armpit anti-perspirants.

So it’s extremely unlikely too many people will be getting involved and having conversations about these brands.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Because people will still buy them if they work, if they serve a purpose.

Brand owners just need to face up to the fact that it’s ok to be a ‘not desirable but necessary’ product.

Getting back to reality is one of the reasons we started red pill.
Every product has a reason to exist. Or it simply wouldn’t exist.

If advertising is to survive it has to return to that basic premise – why would anyone spend their cash on this?

Yes, yes, I’ve heard so often that many products are me-too and it’s only the advertising that differentiates them. But be honest most of the time it doesn’t even do that, with wind-tunnel research.

However that’s no excuse for producing campaigns that are totally irrelevant to the product categories.

Using XBrand WILL NOT make you a hero, sorry (unless I’m out of touch and the Colombian drug cartels have been allowed to advertise).

It’s our job to take what is often a generic product with a generic proposition and create a genuinely different idea based on the reason the product exists.

The business has tried to turn itself into rocket science and failed miserably.

Let’s get back to doing the right thing.

Blog off.

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