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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 3:48 pm

I think I like the Addadude brand. :wink:

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Postby banana » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 6:04 pm

It is not about trolling (why would anyone troll their own thread?:???: ) or copping out. It is about sharing opinions while acknowledging comprehension of others' and not cramming one's own down their throats. As stated, I already agreed if one were to look at selling as that all pervasive activity, then sure, advertising is selling. Everything is selling, we are all salesmen. Would you like to purchase a bridge? I've got a great deal on one in Ayer's Rock.

I'm sorry but selling is NOT fundamental to human nature. It might have been part of what we do for most of our history but it certainly is not hardwired into our genes. Just as we have evolved from hunting and gathering to selling, we can evolve from selling to something else. And that something else is what I had hoped to find from this discussion. Unless someone is going to convince me that hunting is actually selling the idea of a sharp rock in the skull to an animal.

So to reiterate: Is advertising a business tool? Definitely. Is it selling? If you were to boil it down under very rigid conditions, sure. Can it be otherwise? Without a doubt. It depends on how you conduct your business and how you view your consumers. I prefer to respect them.

There are just a couple of things that makes sense to me and thus influence my stance. One is that correlation does not always indicate causality. Two is that no amount of advertising will save a crappy product today. And three, without differentiation, you're just another chump on the street.
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Postby Addadude » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 8:31 pm

I don't think anybody is trolling here. (Not even Superglide...) But as you said at the beginning, you wanted to start a discussion. And that's exactly what you got. It's been pretty interesting too.

Of course it's all about sharing opinions. But it doesn't mean that all the opinions expressed have to be accepted - otherwise it wouldn't be a discussion. And I do fully comprehend the point that you and Superglide are trying to make. I am simply pointing out that it is fallacious.

Whereas Superglide is simply dismissive of any views that differ from his own, you have at least tried to back up your beliefs by quoting examples. I have in turn responded by showing how those very same examples in fact support my assertion that advertising is indeed about selling.

And, yes, SELLING is indeed fundamental to human nature. Hunting and gathering is hardly hardwired into us - we have to be shown how to do it. SELLING on the other hand is intrinsic to our nature - so intrinsic in fact that we often don't realise we are doing it. The instinctive body language we adopt when we meet someone we are attracted to; the way our posture changes when we are feeling aggressive - even before we open our mouths; the way the smallest of children instinctively starts to manipulate their parents (ask any parent if you don't believe me!). This discussion that you started wouldn't exist if we didn't have this need to sell our views - heck, online forums wouldn't exist! Human beings are social creatures and in our every interaction we are both selling - and buying.

You keep dismissing the notion that advertising is selling by stating that it is too simplistic a view - something that is only admissable when you "boil it down under very rigid conditions". But it is nothing of the kind - as I have demonstrated in my replies. And so far, you have come up with nothing concrete to show where I am in error.

If you don't believe me, check your dictionary. Merriam Webster defines advertising as "to call public attention to especially by emphasizing desirable qualities so as to arouse a desire to buy or patronize..." - in other words, "selling".

And if you look up the meaning of "sell" in the same dictionary, you'll find: "to develop a belief in the truth, value, or desirability of... to persuade or influence to a course of action or to the acceptance of something... to cause or promote the sale of (using television advertising to sell cereal)"

So if advertising were to 'evolve' into something other than selling, it simply wouldn't be advertising any more.

But it's okay - really. There's nothing wrong with this. As I keep saying, it is the WAY you sell that can elevate your ad from a 'mere' business tool to sheer (dare I say it?) art.

Okay, let me put it another way. Perhaps we can think of advertising as a conversation. A dialogue with consumers or target audiences. And the way they reply (because conversation is after all a two-way thing) is through purchasing or buying into our message - a response that is measured in increased sales or improved business performance. (Because advertising is after all a business tool.)

Nah - that sounds WAY too pretentious to me! I still prefer stating that advertising is about selling.

BTW, it was the legendary Bill Bernbach (of Doyle Dane Bernbach - DDB) who, way back in the 1960's, observed that "good advertising helps bad products fail faster". Because a good ad will increase sales of a bad product - at first. But after enough people have tried (because the ad was so successful at selling it to them) they will stop buying that product and tell all their friends not to buy that product too.

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Postby banana » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 10:56 pm

Thanks addadude, that was really well put. So well put I was almost convinced. But that bit about hunting and gathering being taught kept itching. And I realised that, my friend, is where your point is fallacious.

Like all animals, human beings hunted and gathered for survival. And through sheer ingenuity, trial and error that we improved the way we hunt and gathered. And we taught these improvements to future generations. Significant difference between between being taught to hunt and taught to hunt better.

Body language, at its most instinctive level, is just that. Instinct. A physical reaction to certain needs and desires. It is only in the last what, 5000 years? that we have learnt to control, even fake, these reactions. And that is where selling comes into the picture.

Of course you can dismiss this with a belief that humans are not just highly evolved animals. That somehow we are magically created salespeople. Possibly in the image of the One True Salesman. But that's bordering on theology and we don't really want to go there, do we?
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Postby ksl » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 10:57 pm

To be honest Banana, I thank you for the discussion, trolling was a little heavy, didn't really mean it that way, although my interest is in supportive data, to back up, what your opinion is stating.

The discussion was an eye opener for me, and actually are the pieces I've been looking for, from people with the same opinion has yourself for some time, because i new this idea in advertising to be wide spread, especially by artistic and creative designers, not businessmen.

Today i had a Singaporean friend around for coffee, and the advertising discussion was quite a debate, he was on your side and although i do appreciate what you are trying to convey, I have no alternative but to see it from a business point of view.

Although my friend is an artist in his own right, so i expected his opinion on the debate to go your way :lol: Although all i ask for is the facts to back up your opinions, of which i believe is difficult if not impossible.

Maybe one day, the trend will be noted significantly in business literature and business educational institutions, you would be very surprised at the number of business CEO's that haven't a clue of advertising and leave it all up to the outsourced departments, lack of communication is a big problem especially in MNC, so the information in this thread is very useful for many. Although not superglide :roll:

Basically there is a niche for your work, but it doesn't include me yet :lol:

Addadude, your on the ball, spot on :) and I think banana is probably more and involved in artistic creation, without the business aspect, unfortunately its not possible to back up with any facts.

Even the work that artists do, is because of their stubborn mindedness, not to recognise business, but there ego's, I know a few, that even expect to get free materials and framing, because they are so well known. They would swear black was white, and business is of no interest, yet slap a price tag on the painting that is out of reach of most consumers, there is a lack of logic in many graphic artists that go into advertising, kind of a mental blockage, they go into the trade for their own reasons and to satisfy their own needs....there is nothing new about this, even though banana suggests changes from the primitive!

Nothing has changed at all, there are literally thousands of people with the same characteristic as Banana in the advertising industry, why because its work, and they can express their abilities, the way they want. Maybe even get recognised for what they do. Caution is on the side of the businessmen, not the advertiser!

It is the businessman, that needs to guide the advertiser to what the business need otherwise we get, the results of Banana and superglide! for an arts exhibition :) Although i am not saying they cannot be used in the industry.

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Postby Addadude » Sat, 14 Jun 2008 10:40 am

banana wrote:Like all animals, human beings hunted and gathered for survival. And through sheer ingenuity, trial and error that we improved the way we hunt and gathered. And we taught these improvements to future generations. Significant difference between between being taught to hunt and taught to hunt better.


My friend, you do realise that you are in fact AGREEING with me? In that last statement you've just said it yourself that we learnt how to hunt and gather by (probably very painful and tragic) trial and error. So it WASN'T instinctive. To stuff something into your mouth because you are hungry is instinctive. To pick and choose carefully what is safe to eat; to figure out ways to hunt animals who are far faster and larger and with bigger, nastier claws and teeth takes practice, experimentation and trail and error as well as ingenuity. Hardly instinctual.

banana wrote:Body language, at its most instinctive level, is just that. Instinct. A physical reaction to certain needs and desires. It is only in the last what, 5000 years? that we have learnt to control, even fake, these reactions. And that is where selling comes into the picture.


So again you agree with me - body language (which is obviously a form of selling) is instinctive. i.e. hardwired into us!

banana wrote:...that we have learnt to control, even fake, these reactions. And that is where selling comes into the picture.


Ah ha! From this sentence, I think I see where your problems are with the fact that advertising is in fact selling. Judging by your words here, you seem to equate control and fakery with selling. Almost as if the very act of selling something involves a degree of deceit. Be assured - there is nothing inherently dishonest or distasteful about selling. Sure, there are PLENTY of people who lie through their teeth when they are trying to sell you something but it's certainly not an intrinsic part of the selling process!

Honestly and sincerely, as someone who is relatively young in the advertising industry, I would urge you to cast aside these notions that selling is something distasteful and dishonest. If you can embrace the fact that the ads that you produce have to sell, and you gear your creative efforts towards evoking a powerful response from your target audience, both your work and your career will take a dramatic leap forward. Please understand, I am not trying to be patronising. I sense a real passion in you for this business and that passion can take you anywhere you want to go - as long as it is focused in the right direction.

banana wrote:Of course you can dismiss this with a belief that humans are not just highly evolved animals... ...bordering on theology and we don't really want to go there, do we?


No. You are damn right I don't want to go there. You seemed to have learned from Superglide the art of trying to change the subject when realise that you are at the losing end of a particular argument!

With your permission as the original threadstarter I would like to move this discussion back to advertising and start discussing other areas of the business that are particularly fascinating to me....

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Postby Addadude » Sat, 14 Jun 2008 10:46 am

Okay. (Taking a deep breath...)

Here's an interesting question. Is whatever constitutes a good ad subjective?

This is a comment I have heard so very often - from account servicing people (the 'sales people' within an ad agency) and clients. Occasionally I have heard it from creative people too. I have my own opinion (there's a surprise...) but I am very curious to hear what others think first. Especially those who don't work day-to-day in the ad business.

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Postby Addadude » Sat, 14 Jun 2008 10:49 am

My second question.

Can an ad be magical?

No, I haven't been drinking. Well not THAT much anyway. I think people who work in the ad industry might have inkling as to what I mean...

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 14 Jun 2008 10:52 am

Addadude wrote:Here's an interesting question. Is whatever constitutes a good ad subjective?

"Good" is an inherently subjective word, in both philosophy and practice. I quote thee Shakespeare: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Therefore perhaps a good ad is simply one that successfully influences people's thinking?

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Postby Addadude » Sat, 14 Jun 2008 11:06 am

ksl wrote:Addadude, your on the ball, spot on :) and I think banana is probably more and involved in artistic creation, without the business aspect, unfortunately its not possible to back up with any facts.


Thanks for the props KSL. I believe Banana is indeed involved with the "artistic creation" aspect of the business but then so am I. And I can assure you that genuinely good creative work will always be backed up by the ultimate fact of all: increased sales and measureable effectiveness. The Gunn Report is an industry-wide annual publication that examines the effectiveness of creative award-winning ads. And in quite literally every case (of award winning ads that actually ran), the award winning ads outperformed other ads in their category. Even the global head of marketing for Proctor & Gamble recognises a direct correaltion between creative excellence and sales success. (Shame that it doesn't seem to reflect this in P&G's major campaigns though...)

ksl wrote:It is the businessman, that needs to guide the advertiser to what the business need otherwise we get, the results of Banana and superglide! for an arts exhibition :) Although i am not saying they cannot be used in the industry.


Actually I don't think it is very fair to link Banana to Superglide. They are actually approaching this discussion from VERY different perspectives. Banana dislikes equating advertising with selling because he feels that it diminishes advertising in some way. Superglide on the other hand is very clear in his view that to link advertising with sales is to elevate advertising to a status it doesn't deserve! And, by all accounts, Superglide is in fact the businessman who guiding the agency... which is a very scarey thought!

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Postby ksl » Sat, 14 Jun 2008 4:12 pm

Yes you are quite right, i guess my ability to express clearly is some what limited at times, I love art and graphic design myself and when i do my own designs, i am left with frustration of not knowing, if it is communicating what i want it to...it maybe a subliminal message, or a an informative brochure, I also believe that ads should be not always be subjective, or objective and should be created in accordance with an aim or target grp, using all knowledge and experience of human behaviour, to achieve the goal of the advert and a mix of subjective and objective communication maybe required .

Qualia (Sony) electronics brand, on the other hand is a sensory perception of experiences, and the subconscious mind, that advertisers may also tap into.

One cannot say subjective is the right word, magical can be expressed in any form of advertising, I have no other word that i can find, to say one must try to apply common sense or a balance of factors that are required to complete the objective both subjective and objective or a mix.

When i have done designs, I can never be happy, I need feed back from the masses to give me some form of satisfaction, and if i can get a qualifying amount of positive or negative responses, I may just go ahead with it if they are all shocked by it, because many have looked long enough to look at the detail, so a finer adjustment, may just be needed, to deliver the message.

It is a balancing act to get a very good response, which can be seen, if the advert is passed around all advertising people, each one would suggest adjustments, although pass it around consumers and they will not, they the majority will make comments. without knowing why they really make them, this is my belief.

So quite opposite to Banana understanding of people evolving and becoming more knowledgeable, maybe valid to an extent, although the complex of genetic behaviour doesn't change much, people like to be lead, by leaders, and their wish to satisfy their wants and needs, maybe conscious or sub-conscious, a good advert is not only about information, but about stimulating the perception, and senses , be it fears or otherwise for a successful response.

Supergide, yes the marketeer, who is probably focussed on his role, which is given him and completely oblivious to the end result.

Lets face it, when doing a country assessment for product penetration, i'm only interested in the data I collect, advertising at this stage doesn't even come into the equation, I am a marketeer doing my research to gather information.

I will not be taking part in the advertising campaigns, although my evaluation of the market must be sales related in the assessment, before doing any field research, if there was no feasible sale opportunity .

So I can see what Superglide is getting at, he's given specific training in his area of expertise, and is focussed on that, Although it is naive and immature of him, to ignore the facts.

My education of export consultation covers a wide birth of specialist areas, although i am not the specialist in these areas, I still have to have a sound knowledge of these specialities, before i can identify and outsource a capable specialist to do the job.

In otherwords my professionalism is on the line, if a make a mess of launching a product into a new market, because the launch would be based on my assesment and the support required to acheieve penitration, would also be accountable to me.

I have to be satisfied, that what is being done, is in the interest of the company I represent, and all they care about is sales. Advertising is sales.
Of which my fees are based on. hence it is in my interest to keep learning.

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Postby banana » Sun, 15 Jun 2008 12:38 pm

Addadude: Actually no, I am not in fact agreeing with you. I am saying there is a difference between learning and being taught. Just as there is a difference between buying and being sold to. Also, your assertion that body language is a form of selling is backed up only by itself. Circular reasoning. That's like saying "I believe in Santa Claus, therefore Santa Claus exists".

Having said that, I sincerely thank you for your heartfelt advice. Even though if you had actually read and comprehended my previous posts, you would have realised I acknowledged the selling aspect of advertising but believe it can be more. No wait, you alluded to as much in a later post. Confusing.

Still, I do think you meant well and appreciate your counsel. Your years in the industry are hard to match and even with changing climes, it is useful to remember lessons from the past. I hope to work with you some day.

So yes, let's move on to more compelling areas of interest.

ksl: I don't know where to start. You have a vast wealth of experience to share but you play the player more than you play the ball. That makes communication difficult. I won't even start on the excessive punctuation. :P

Another thing is the mixed messages - you can apologise for a perceived slight and carry on making the same insinuations in the same post. I try to appreciate the whole zen thing of holding two contradictory thoughts at once but that's a little much to take.

Some free consultation from a young 'un: the same style does your marketing efforts no favours.

And that, is my polite response, seeing as both of you are my elders.
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Postby banana » Sun, 15 Jun 2008 12:49 pm

Addadude wrote:Here's an interesting question. Is whatever constitutes a good ad subjective?

This is a comment I have heard so very often - from account servicing people (the 'sales people' within an ad agency) and clients. Occasionally I have heard it from creative people too. I have my own opinion (there's a surprise...) but I am very curious to hear what others think first. Especially those who don't work day-to-day in the ad business.

My second question.

Can an ad be magical?

No, I haven't been drinking. Well not THAT much anyway. I think people who work in the ad industry might have inkling as to what I mean...


These are the very questions I had hoped to tackle before we got sidetracked by the whole selling debate. Masterful move Mr Addadude.
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Postby ksl » Sun, 15 Jun 2008 2:56 pm

Well Banana, your opinion is also welcomed, although I have yet to see anything to back up your opinion, even though i have searched the internet, for your take on the matter, zilch!

I am now asking you to help here, and provide at least something which will support your theory, or even your own statistics to show, that your creative side is working for you and your clients, or maybe statistical feedback doesn't support such theories?

Banana: These are the very questions I had hoped to tackle before we got sidetracked by the whole selling debate. Masterful move Mr Addadude
why the delayed response Banana, research required! :wink: or side tracking, let's face it, your style appears a little allusiveness more than anything else, just now.

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Postby banana » Sun, 15 Jun 2008 6:51 pm

ksl wrote:Well Banana, your opinion is also welcomed, although I have yet to see anything to back up your opinion, even though i have searched the internet, for your take on the matter, zilch!

I am now asking you to help here, and provide at least something which will support your theory, or even your own statistics to show, that your creative side is working for you and your clients, or maybe statistical feedback doesn't support such theories?


Playing the player yet again, ksl. Or perhaps simply fishing. But no matter.

Addadude already pointed you towards the Gunn Report. A book you can buy is Rise of the Creative Class. Head to a decent sized bookstore and there should be tons of literature about this, written for the management inclined such as yourself.

I can't really provide you with my own statistics as that would violate client confidentiality so it's up to you to believe when I say consumer feedback have been positive so far. No hard feelings if you don't.

Your style of leadership is quite obvious, especially with your statement that people like to be led. It gives you, the businessman, complete control over the situation. Although you might want to entertain the idea that sometimes it's better to cooperate or collaborate than to dominate. Wasn't it David Ogilvy who said "if we hire people greater than we are, we shall become a company of giants"?

Albert Einstien once said "we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them". Perhaps that can be applied to the businessman's problem of the bottomline.

ksl wrote:
Banana: These are the very questions I had hoped to tackle before we got sidetracked by the whole selling debate. Masterful move Mr Addadude
why the delayed response Banana, research required! :wink: or side tracking, let's face it, your style appears a little allusiveness more than anything else, just now.


Research? On what exactly? I had typed out a lengthier response but thought better of it. Rather than continuously standing on my soapbox, more can be learnt from the opinion of others, especially those not in the industry.

I know you're gonna say something in the lines of "ah ha, now you're getting it". Please don't. That's a cheap move. Go for the ball ksl, not my legs. By that, I meant the game ball, not my balls. :lol:
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