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On Advertising

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 10:37 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Frankly, from a pure layman who has stayed out of this thread because I know absolutely nothing about it, I'd have to say, from a purely personal point of view, that "Advertising" for me is selling.

That's why I stayed out at first too. I figured I didn't know enough about the topic. Until I realised that most others don't too! :wink:

What I find interesting is this: advertisers charge big bucks because they claim to understand public perception and thus can effectively influence this to achieve their clients' objectives. So here we have ALL the laypeople saying "We think advertising is selling" and the advertising guys insisting it is not, and we say "We still think it is."

So you advertising chaps ought to start advertising advertising better! :P

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Postby Addadude » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 10:55 am

ukdesigner wrote:Adding another piece onto the discussion, does anyone think that big images and lots of white space is good in an adverts or would you prefer to see lots of images and text filling up the advert with lots of colour?

Just curious!! :wink:


To be perfectly honest, I don't have a preference about the look of the ad. It really depends upon the relevance of that look.

For example, I love the famous Economist poster which reads 'I never read The Economist. Management Trainee, aged 42'. But similarly, I also love the RSPCA ad which features a photograph of a huge pile of dead dogs alongside a headline that reads "When the government killed the dog licence, they left us to kill the dogs." followed by a full page of body copy. Both were produced by the same creative team, David Abbott and Ron Brown. The brevity of the Economist poster made sense, because it is after all a poster. But there wasn't a single image involved: just white text against a red background. The RSPCA ad featured a very powerful image, an emotive headline and fascinating bodycopy and it appeared in the newspaper, where the reader is already in a mindset to read. The powerful content of this ad would almost have 'forced' a reader to read every single word. Both work superbly - and both a VERY different in their look and styling.

I usually tell my art directors that if the first thing I notice about their ad is that it is well-designed, they have failed. I should first notice that it is a great ad. Then, because I am in the profession and it is interesting for me to do so, I will break it down and analyse why it is so good. As you can imagine, this really endears me to art directors - not!

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 11:01 am

Addadude wrote:I usually tell my art directors that if the first thing I notice about their ad is that it is well-designed, they have failed.

Yves Saint Laurent said the same of women's fashion - if you notice the dress instead of the woman, he has failed.

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Postby Addadude » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 11:37 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:What I find interesting is this: advertisers charge big bucks because they claim to understand public perception and thus can effectively influence this to achieve their clients' objectives. So here we have ALL the laypeople saying "We think advertising is selling" and the advertising guys insisting it is not, and we say "We still think it is."

So you advertising chaps ought to start advertising advertising better! :P


WIMH, just to clarify for you: ADVERTISERS are the clients. They are the guys with products or servicers that they wish to advertise. ADVERTISING AGENCIES produce the ads for these ADVERTISERS.

Unless of course the ad agencies are advertising themselves - then they are advertisERS as well as advertisING agencies...

And I can assure you that the vast majority of professionals working in advertising and marketing consider advertsing to be a form of selling. (As I took great pains (and lengths) to explain in an earlier posting.)

I have no argument against your assertion that ad agencies should start advertising advertising better though...

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Postby ksl » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 2:53 pm

For me, without cutting too many hairs, the fundamental basics rule!

satisfying wants and needs! and not free! You pay me, how i get your attention to buy, I create my strategy and execute my promotion and advertising campaign, to attract your attention, and communicate my sales benefits to satisfy your wants and needs, I cannot sell you anything, until you approach my point of sale, but what my intention is, with the promotion and advertising, is very easy to understand, I want you to buy my product rather than my competitors.

The only way this is going to happen, is if i can convince you to buy, with my advertising, closing the sales procedure is also an art, whereby many sales people don't know when to shut up, they are in the wrong job, they should be in sales promotion, rather than sales. so as easy as the words sound, promotion, advertising and sales.

It's a little more complexes to understand the rationality behind, the sell, but basically, if there is no convincing message in the advertisement, to purchase, why purchase! It is not an arts & graphics exhibition to entertain the public, far from it.

When the response of an advertising campaign is measured, to attract potential buyers, by informing them of the correct message, " I can satisfy your wants & needs" because my benefits are better, than anyone else, the response tells me, these people now want to buy.

I could possibly lose customers, if the sales person, doesn't close the sale ASAP. because he is a better promoter, than a salesman.

No matter how individual marketeers, and advertisers perceive themselves, the sole responsibility, lies with the guy, running the whole project. it is very obvious to say, if the promotion, or advertisements didn't send the correct message to buy, then they have failed,
because the consumer needs to travel, to the point of sale, to hand the cash over! I hope marketeers and advertisers, can see the simplicity in the buying process. It is not an arts festival to express ego's!

So if your business is slow, you may need to look in the mirror, then bang your head against it! :lol:

Business is about selling and as quickly as possible for positive sales, so as long as the overall business is profitable you stay afloat, you are turning profit and not a loss, and on occasion I have sold by advertisement products at a deliberate loss, to attract the buyer to complete a sale....

Example, How a about I advertise an Intel processor free of charge! If you purchase the other components from me too! Many will scratch their head and think what's the catch, they are sold on the idea, but what's the catch, there is no catch, you get a full guarantee too. I know that advertisement will actually sell, it is used on occasions and the response rates have been overwhelming, because no one ever gives away " Intel Processors" :)

Graphic advertising is a very creative art from my point of view, in which some people may drift away into another world of creativity, which many excel at, but they fail to see it from the consumers point of view, they are not grounded, and that is the case in many failed advertising campaigns, which are normally out sourced by MBA's in marketing and sales, why do they fail?

Because the super duper MBA holder, is an academic, maybe with no creative experience, only good educational results, they rely on the outsourced advertising to provide the expertise that they lack and often fail, to evaluate a good advertisement, because of a lack of creative thinking, a good all rounder may not have the high grades in education, but may make up for it with good old common sense through practical experiences, The ability of being average in all subjects, is not an hindrance if they have natural talent, in many subjects.

These multi skilled qualities that are needed to be successful, are a combination of creative experience, academic skill, and common sense, built on practical experiences, and initiative training, one doesn't need to have a distinction, in academia, to survive, if one has common sense.

No common sense may mean, the distinction in academia, will only be useful, for wiping your bottom with, in a survival situation, like putting food on the table, so only an open mind, will help, it's not about who is right or who is wrong, it's about what works best, at the right time!

My advert maybe just to convey a message of not buy it, But to reject it, to cause shock, or attraction, but again, with the motive of making a sale, at some point in time. It is still connected to the sale and my strategy is to use the adverisement to move in for closure, when i am ready, the advertisements may lead up to a climax in the sales promotion plan. So I'm afraid there is no escape for the advertiser, you are a tool to be used for selling, how it's done is a matter of discussion.

Ideally one would have a distinction in all subjects and common sense, but that is rarely the case, is it? Hence the importance in team work and sparring.
I'm the end product of Philip Kotler, he sold himself well! :lol:

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Postby banana » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 5:56 pm

OK, so far we've reached a general consensus (at least from the more verbose posters) that advertising is selling. Like Superglide, however, I remain unconvinced.

On a very basic (not fundamental as that suggest an inextricable essence ) level, advertising is selling since anything communicated in favour of one view is selling that view. But that is primitive to say the least. Like how Dubya once famously said "if you're not with us, you're against us".

GC brought up a very pertinent point. We have come a long way baby. There is much more to advertising than simply selling a product/service these days.

There are also branding ads that communicate different things. Maintaining "mindshare" (god I hate these power buzzwords), personality, lifestyle, establishing rapport and so on. Nike is a good example - the vast majority of their ads do not persuade (or sell) as much as declare, define, inspire.

Their ads declare "these are the people we associate with", they define "the values we hold dear" and hopefully inspire "the lifestyle we live by". And they work not because the ad is well designed but because those are intangible thought associations that people feel they can relate to. To say people buy Nike shoes only because they are sold to the idea that "if Michael Jordan wears them, I should too and I can jump as high" is either giving people too little credit or aiming too low.

Personally, any company or agency that works solely on this level should be avoided like the plague as they are showing absolutely zero respect to the consumer - the ones that pay their bills.

To be fair though, relevance plays a huge factor, as addadude said. A blank page with a single word may work for advertisers or consumers that appreciate the sublime while graphic mashups would probably appeal to the MTV crowd.
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Postby ksl » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 10:49 pm

the vast majority of their ads do not persuade (or sell) as much as declare, define, inspire.


Declare, define and inspire, is still an intricate part of maintaining market share, and sales, once branded, maintenance of market share takes place. If you pull the plug on advertising, you will most definately see the results in the sales, and that goes for any famous brand, even coke! So still all sales related.

I believe wikipedia sums it up quite well, of course there is non commercial advertising too, but at the end of the day, the message or results show what is happening. people are reacting to good advertisments.

No reaction, then the advertisement doesn't communicate the message, and no money is spent or very little, equates to a bad advertisement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertising
Last edited by ksl on Thu, 12 Jun 2008 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby jpatokal » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 11:06 pm

Global Citizen wrote:Isn't it also about maintaining a market presence? For eg. take Coke and Pepsi. Both well established and successful brands and keen rivals in the cola market. Both spend millions on advertising in order to maintain their position as top dogs. Pepsi appears to be spending more though, what with their celebrity endorsements.

I'd like to know if any of you think they (Pepsi and Coke) win any new converts to their respective brands with their ad campaigns or is it about staying in the game? A case of 'The more I see, the more I believe or buy into it?'

I think Pepsi and Coke advertise so much in order to try to convert youth to one side of the other. New consumers are born all the time...

I'm also curious as to which brand is leading overall. Ad guys if you can furnish some figures, I'd be grateful. My bet is on Pepsi at the moment.

According to this, as of 2006 Coke Classic has a 17.3% share of the US market, vs about 11% for Pepsi. Coke's advantage is even bigger if you factor in Diet Coke (10%) vs Diet Pepsi (6%).
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Postby ksl » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 11:23 pm

jpatokal wrote:
Global Citizen wrote:Isn't it also about maintaining a market presence? For eg. take Coke and Pepsi. Both well established and successful brands and keen rivals in the cola market. Both spend millions on advertising in order to maintain their position as top dogs. Pepsi appears to be spending more though, what with their celebrity endorsements.

I'd like to know if any of you think they (Pepsi and Coke) win any new converts to their respective brands with their ad campaigns or is it about staying in the game? A case of 'The more I see, the more I believe or buy into it?'

I think Pepsi and Coke advertise so much in order to try to convert youth to one side of the other. New consumers are born all the time...

I'm also curious as to which brand is leading overall. Ad guys if you can furnish some figures, I'd be grateful. My bet is on Pepsi at the moment.

According to this, as of 2006 Coke Classic has a 17.3% share of the US market, vs about 11% for Pepsi. Coke's advantage is even bigger if you factor in Diet Coke (10%) vs Diet Pepsi (6%).


Mostly smoke screen from coke...Pepsi is winning and it does show!
Not only that, I would say both are losing market share big time, against the new trend of functional beverage drinking and the fight against obesity by governments.

http://www.customersandcapital.com/book ... _hell.html

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Postby banana » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 2:03 am

ksl wrote:Declare, define and inspire, is still an intricate part of maintaining market share, and sales, once branded, maintenance of market share takes place. If you pull the plug on advertising, you will most definately see the results in the sales, and that goes for any famous brand, even coke! So still all sales related.


If you take such a broad stroke to define selling, then anything and everything is selling. Even HR - you need to recruit salesmen in order to make sales, therefore HR is sales related. :-|
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Postby ksl » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 2:18 am

banana wrote:
ksl wrote:Declare, define and inspire, is still an intricate part of maintaining market share, and sales, once branded, maintenance of market share takes place. If you pull the plug on advertising, you will most definitely see the results in the sales, and that goes for any famous brand, even coke! So still all sales related.


If you take such a broad stroke to define selling, then anything and everything is selling. Even HR - you need to recruit salesmen in order to make sales, therefore HR is sales related. :-|
Well well well, we are finally getting somewhere! easy isn't it, even though you double up in pain, with the thought, business is about being productive and selling! What good is the HR, if he employs a load of non productive workers? Or even a few, non productive workers, or better still, a department of advertisers, that cannot advertise, to produce sales! But to hold an ego competition for the best design, to be noticed! All about $$$$$$ no matter which way you look at it! and if you don't bring in the cash, you go under, its that simple.

But it is also my job, to be effective and ruthless, no matter how many family you have to support at the expense of a business. Long winded, very, because it's surprising just how long it takes, to get through to some people.

Although I'm also not saying you are not a good advertiser, I could probably decorate my apartment, with some of your work and superglides, too! :) The best understanding is to look at it, from the driving seat, and not one of the passenger seats, it's not a free ride!

Even though i do understand every word, you and superglide are saying.
If your company called me in and asked me to look into the problem of the company losing money....I'm sure, that an analysis of the response rates on advertising campaigns may just come to light! and you would be sacked! Unless you are doing work, for some graphic arts display at an entertainment venue! Even then you would be sacked, if so few came to view your work. It's not about broad strokes either, it's about running a profitable business, only broad strokes come stright to the point from the driving seat! Everything about business as a cause and an effect, the effect must be a positive one for both business and consumer.

Maybe your arts and graphic advertising is on this kind of level, he's a very talented artist, and graphics designer who actually makes millions doing installation work and advertising for major companies like Nokia and also advertsing, you can read about Sergei Sviatchenko here, this is advertising with a difference, but lets face it, it doesn't even get close to selling products, only his own.

http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/yourga ... 27065.html
http://www.senko.dk/ http://www.sviatchenko.dk/
Last edited by ksl on Fri, 13 Jun 2008 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby banana » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 2:57 am

ksl wrote:
banana wrote:
ksl wrote:Declare, define and inspire, is still an intricate part of maintaining market share, and sales, once branded, maintenance of market share takes place. If you pull the plug on advertising, you will most definitely see the results in the sales, and that goes for any famous brand, even coke! So still all sales related.


If you take such a broad stroke to define selling, then anything and everything is selling. Even HR - you need to recruit salesmen in order to make sales, therefore HR is sales related. :-|
Well well well, we are finally getting somewhere! easy isn't it, even though you double up in pain, with the thought, business is about being productive and selling! What good is the HR, if he employs a load of non productive workers? Or even a few, non productive workers, or better still, a department of advertisers, that cannot advertise, to produce sales! But to hold an ego competition for the best design, to be noticed! All about $$$$$$ no matter which way you look at it! and if you don't bring in the cash, you go under, its that simple.

But it is also my job, to be effective and ruthless, no matter how many family you have to support at the expense of a business. Long winded, very, because it's surprising just how long it takes, to get through to some people.

Although I'm also not saying you are not a good advertiser, I could probably decorate my apartment, with some of your work and superglides, too! :) The best understanding is to look at it, from the driving seat, and not one of the passenger seats, it's not a free ride!

Even though i do understand every word, you and superglide are saying.
If your company called me in and asked me to look into the problem of the company losing money....I'm sure, that an analysis of the response rates on advertising campaigns may just come to light! and you would be sacked! Unless you are doing work, for some graphic arts display at an entertainment venue! Even then you would be sacked, if so few came to view your work. It's not about broad strokes either, it's about running a profitable business, only broad strokes come stright to the point from the driving seat!


As said before, your ability to read into things that are not there is astounding. I'm surprised you're not Bill Gates' or Warren Buffet's personal advisor. Or Madame Zevo, fortune teller extraordinaire.

Driving seat? Free ride? I thought you were in the "functional beverage" business, not taxis! :lol:
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Postby ksl » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 3:14 am

banana wrote:
ksl wrote:
banana wrote:
ksl wrote:Declare, define and inspire, is still an intricate part of maintaining market share, and sales, once branded, maintenance of market share takes place. If you pull the plug on advertising, you will most definitely see the results in the sales, and that goes for any famous brand, even coke! So still all sales related.


If you take such a broad stroke to define selling, then anything and everything is selling. Even HR - you need to recruit salesmen in order to make sales, therefore HR is sales related. :-|
Well well well, we are finally getting somewhere! easy isn't it, even though you double up in pain, with the thought, business is about being productive and selling! What good is the HR, if he employs a load of non productive workers? Or even a few, non productive workers, or better still, a department of advertisers, that cannot advertise, to produce sales! But to hold an ego competition for the best design, to be noticed! All about $$$$$$ no matter which way you look at it! and if you don't bring in the cash, you go under, its that simple.

But it is also my job, to be effective and ruthless, no matter how many family you have to support at the expense of a business. Long winded, very, because it's surprising just how long it takes, to get through to some people.

Although I'm also not saying you are not a good advertiser, I could probably decorate my apartment, with some of your work and superglides, too! :) The best understanding is to look at it, from the driving seat, and not one of the passenger seats, it's not a free ride!

Even though i do understand every word, you and superglide are saying.
If your company called me in and asked me to look into the problem of the company losing money....I'm sure, that an analysis of the response rates on advertising campaigns may just come to light! and you would be sacked! Unless you are doing work, for some graphic arts display at an entertainment venue! Even then you would be sacked, if so few came to view your work. It's not about broad strokes either, it's about running a profitable business, only broad strokes come stright to the point from the driving seat!


As said before, your ability to read into things that are not there is astounding. I'm surprised you're not Bill Gates' or Warren Buffet's personal advisor. Or Madame Zevo, fortune teller extraordinaire.

Driving seat? Free ride? I thought you were in the "functional beverage" business, not taxis! :lol:
Unfortunately you are wrong again, I'm actually semi retired, at 45, i do as little as possible, and my hobby is making money, with as little work as possible, which i do quite successfully, buy getting others to do the work :lol: yawn! :wink: Ah Warren Buffet, also thinks like me, he's very cautious and does his homework! You should check my thread on investment too :lol:

Read things that are not there :) You mean you still can't see the picture, never mind, give it up, you can always have a go at marketing :lol: Time out, I've seen to much of myself just lately, and you are not wrong about the verbose :roll:

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Postby Addadude » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 9:48 am

banana wrote:OK, so far we've reached a general consensus (at least from the more verbose posters) that advertising is selling. Like Superglide, however, I remain unconvinced.

On a very basic (not fundamental as that suggest an inextricable essence ) level, advertising is selling since anything communicated in favour of one view is selling that view. But that is primitive to say the least. Like how Dubya once famously said "if you're not with us, you're against us".


Now that is what I call an intellectual copout. Advertising is selling, pure and simple. And no, this is not some kind of 'basic' explanation of it nor is it 'primitive'. These are the kinds of words used by people who would like to make this business more complicated than it actually is. The idea thatf advertising being all about selling is simple, yes. But it's also very fundamental to what we do and the way we gauge the effectiveness of our work - and indeed justify our reason for our existence as agencies. Selling, as I explained, is fundamental to human nature and we ALL do it every single day, usually without consciously realising we are doing it.

I have no idea what your 'Dubya' reference is about...

Then you go on to differentiate between 'branding' ads and 'selling' ads as if they were two different things. They are not. EVERY single ad that an advertiser puts out there is a branding ad. Whether it is some 'high-concept', stunningly produced 60 second TVC making broad, inspiring statements about the advertiser's brand, a hard sell retail ad for a range of the advertiser's products or a humble, straight forward recruitment ad looking for people to work for the advertiser, they are ALL, each and every one of them, branding that advertiser. And, guess what, they are all 'selling' that advertiser too. Because, when it comes down to it, branding is selling too!

The Nike brand you quote is the perfect example of a company who understands that EVERYTHING they do brands them. I'm actually trying recall a so-called pure 'branding ad' for Nike and I can't. Possibly the 'scars' commercial, where different athletes show off their scars as badges of honour as Joe Cocker sings "You are so beautiful..." Most of their ads are tied into selling a particular product but they are exceuted in a way that reflects the Nike brand. And thus, every single Nike ad is a branding ad. They ALL speak with the NIke voice. But you can bet that this voice would change big time if sales of Nike products were to decline.

That's one end of the scale: the kind of ads that most creatives would offer irreplaceable parts of their body to work on. Let's look at the other end: McDonalds. Again, when they do so-called 'branding ads' and when they do so called 'selling ads', they speak with the same voice. The 'brand message' continues from one to the other. These ads are hardly the stuff of inspiration and most creatives would rather NOT work on them. But McDonalds is undeniably successful and a far bigger brand than Nike.

Please, don't go down the route of 'branding ads' being all about raising 'awareness' and not selling. For any business, so-called 'increased awareness' means nothing unless it results in better business - ie. sales. And how is is this so called 'awareness' measured? Don't tell me research. Anybody who has had a decent amount of experience with research companies will be pretty sceptical about research results that depict awareness levels. The best way to judge whether you have increased 'awareness' is that blasted bottom line - improved business and sales.

Perhaps a better way to identify different advertising styles would be 'soft sell' advertising and and 'hard sell' advertising. And that comes down very often to tone of voice. Selling doesn't have to be obvious. As I've said, we ALL engage in it every day - often with realising we are doing so. You can offer amazing discounts, stun them with undeniable facts, you can make them laugh, you can make them cry, you can make them stop and think, you can make them nod in vigorous agreement... But ultimately you are STILL selling to them.

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Postby ksl » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 2:30 pm

Very nicely expressed, and becoming long winded too, like my own! ha! :lol: But no other way, to explain! Although I have noticed, that banana and superglide, have actually, stood back, without presenting any hard opinionated views, or examples...which makes me wonder if they are just trolling for the sake of it. :) or are they really that bad at understanding the picture of selling!


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