Friday, January 11, 2008

Why ads don't work

You know. I had a new guy visit my site who just started his own blog. His name and site is

I visited his site and found that his post dealt with an ad he saw and on which he speaks on why he wonders why the ads he sees don't work. I had to post him back....

No Danman10019. You're correct. Ads today have lost site of the goal of actually getting someone to get up and go do something. They are made more in the mold of, "if you throw enough shit against the glass some of it might stick."

There has been a dramatic abscence in "calls to action" or "reasons-for-being" in ads over the last 25 years, - the things that give ads traction - coincidentally coinciding with a decline of importance of "positioning" in the minds of marketers. Oh sure, Cadillac has a "positioning" - it lives in the luxury high price quadrant versus Chevy's family/value quadrant at GM. The only problem is that these "positionings" do nothing to drive breakthrough creative or innovative Perceptual Innovations or Perceptual Monopolies that cause consumers to get up and go spend their money with Cadillac versus the likes of a Lexus or Audi that instant. Just puting mid life good looking models getting out of Cadillacs with tag lines that say, "Life. Liberty and the Pursuit" just don't cut it motivationally. They have all the pieces - they know who their buyers are - the strivers, the alpha men and women - GM and its agencies just don't know how to put them together. Please delve into this subject further. You are on the right track. For more about the auto industry also visit Crubs & Fents at
The ads you see are the way they are, because the people who make the ads have grown up in an environment where the ads they make are much like the ads they've seen. Same goes with their teachers in MBA schools. Therefore, they believe they are correct. As the saying goes, "average has gotten so bad that you can go to the head of the class just by showing up."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Martin -

Thanks so much for your insightful (and kind) comment.

I was having a conversation earlier with a colleague of mine, and the reason marketers can’t think about anything long-term is because:

1) They’re trying to show quick ROI, and as a result…
2) …are trying to keep their jobs.

Make no mistake; marketers are trying to show the financial folks that their campaigns are worth spending money on. There’s always something quicker and cheaper, but in the long run, it will hurt your brand. I’ve learned that much so far just reporting on the marketing profession.

Anyway, I hope you come back to my page soon. Let’s talk.