Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Madison Avenue To Clients: You Reap What You Sow

To:All Consumer Packaged Goods Clients
From: Madison Avenue

Subject: Advertising That Sells.

Dear Clients:
Have you ever heard the saying garbage in, garbage out?

No?! Then let's cut through the mustard [not the clutter] here.

It is the client's responsibility to provide leadership and direction if you want advertising that sells.

It is our responsibility to turn that into a campaign.

Do not blur the lines and hold us accountable for both.

As long as manufacturers scratch consumer motivations no more deeply that their product's consumer functions, features and benefits - targeting this week's flavor of consumer demographic or consumer ear and eyespot - your advertising will remain bland and tasteless. A commodity. We can not turn a sow's ear (very similar products) into silk purses.

You say your product is different? No, it is not.

All shampoos and conditioners promise "model beautiful" hair.
All detergents promise to do the cleaning job better and faster.
All orange juices claim to taste "most like the orange."
All ground roast coffee claims superior flavor and aroma.
All toothpastes promise whiter teeth, cavity prevention, gum care, tartar control and fresher breath.

If you want rich, robust and proprietary insights, it is a client's responsibility to generate them. Put them in your positioning statements and we will turn your stews into top selling soups you eat with a fork [Chunky Soup].

Maxwell House may have been good to the last drop. Folgers may have been mountain grown. But both employed the same idea - and not a big one - that each had the richest flavor and aroma. Parity in. Parity out. Two brands saying exactly the same thing different ways. What a waste of resources. A pissing match ending in a highly price-driven commodity category. A draw. What did copying ever get you in school?

Thank God Procter & Gamble sourced Calle & Company for rich, robust and proprietary consumer insights!

Calle & Company realized that heavy ground roast coffee consumers- the 24% of the audience that account for 85% of category volume - consume caffiene for the "Control" rather than "Sensory" selling dimensions - caffiene offers in the morning day part.

Heavies drink coffee because caffiene helps them "work and play well with others." Heavies drink caffiene when they get to work to socialize, but also because the caffiene "helps them see things others miss (kind of prophetic)." And heavies drink caffiene on Saturday and Sunday morning because if their spouse, girl or boy friend trys to get them to say or to do something before they have that first cup of caffiene in the morning, that usually starts an argument that lasts two or three days.

So, for them, "the best part of waking up is "caffiene" in their cup." But we couldn't say caffiene, so we said, "Folgers" - which now enjoys a 34 to 17 share lead over Maxwell House. That's advertising that sells!

If you are a heavy ground roast coffee consumer, you can relate.

And that is the guidance clients must provide to advertising agencies if you want break through advertising that sells. Only Madison Avenue's whores take awareness and recognition campaign money.

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