Harald Jezek

Owner, Nuada beauty+wellness


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Advertising.......is it still worth the money ?

Today we are inundated with ads of any kind, form and shape. This brings up the question how efficient ads actually are. Do people still pay attention and if they do, do they act based on the ads ? Or are ads considered background noise or even worse, an annoyance ?
What kind of ads are the most likely to catch your attention ? As a consumer, how would you like a company to engage with you ?
Here a link to the best ads on TED: http://www.ted.com/aws

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    Apr 6 2011: "People pay attention to what interests them. Sometimes it's a an ad."
    - Howard Gossage, 1917-1969.
    Howard was a professional ad man. So am I. No one talented in advertising or marketing sets out to annoy, interrupt or irritate people. When advertising is done well it engages, rewards, surprises, entertains, informs and/or inspires. I recognize that most do not do this. But like anything - 90% is crap, 9% is good and 1% is great.
    As many people have noted, the question is simply too broad when stated "advertising is it worth the money?". Smart, creative marketing communication delivered to the right group of people will always add value to a brand and a product.
    The better question, perhaps, is: "What is advertising in 2011?"
    As a creative leader for a major Ad agency, I study, obsess and follow this topic, obviously with great personal and professional interest. One of dynamics I notice most is the disconnect between the trendy hype and discussion in the press and online around the death of traditional TV and the modern viewer's ability to "Tivo" around ads and the actual reality of viewer and user behavior. These are myths. DVR'ing and Tivo'ing programming actually increases consumption of advertising (because people watch more TV). Viewers and users will always say that advertising does not influence their purchasing decisions. Of course, who would admit that out loud? However, there is undeniable amounts of behavioral data proving otherwise.
    Look, no one loathes crappy annoying insipid advertising more than me. And if we frame the question that way - no it is definitely still not worth the money since there are multiple ways to avoid it, trash it and bash it.
    But with the synergies of interactive technology, location-based gaming and film - storytelling around brands will definitely be worth it - if and only if - the content is interesting to the group of people it needs to connect with. Just remember, people love to buy. They just hate to be sold.
  • Apr 7 2011: It would seem that newspaper retail advertising is alive and well.

    I live in a town of one million people. We have two local daily papers. I subscribe to one of them. The following inserts were included with today's paper:

    Shopping Guide (100% ads): 6 pages.
    "Home & Style" feature section (50% ads): 14 pages.
    Walmart: 6 pages.
    Sears: 38 pages.
    Bass Pro Shops: 16 pages.
    Toys R Us: 24 pages.
    The Bay (department store): 32 pages.
    Superstore (Canadian Walmart competitor): 24 pages
    Superstore garden furniture: 12 pages.
    Wholesale Sports Outfitters: 8 pages.
    London Drugs: 28 pages.
    Safeway liquor store: 4 pages.
    Safeway: 12 pages.
    Coop (supermarket): 10 pages.
    Gardeing feature (75% ads): 12 pages.

    I'm not sure how many people actually read them, but I know at least one person who counted all the pages.
  • Apr 5 2011: I hate to be so simplistic about this but from the perspective of a company, if they bring in more money due to that advertisement than they pay to produce it then it is worth the money. Every business is different so the answer will be different for each one, but as a general rule thats pretty much it.
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      Apr 5 2011: "(I)f they bring in more money due to that advertisement than they pay to produce it then it is worth the money."

      Yup, that's the question. And for most businesses, most of the time, the answer is, "No."

      "Every business is different so the answer will be different for each one, but as a general rule thats pretty much it."

      Sure... Except when it isn't. "Building the brand," "increasing our mindshare," or just the sheer raw ego of the managers with that particular slice of the budget all come to mind.

      There's a reason "Dilbert" is popular. Many, many businesses only make money as a coincidence.
      • Apr 6 2011: Hal, I'm unfamiliar with "increasing our mindshare," can you elaborate on what that is? I'd be happy to learn more.
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      Apr 9 2011: Ross, let's look at P&G for example as one of the ad spending global giants.
      P&G net sales in 2010 was 78.9 Billion, up from 76.6 Billion in 2009.
      Ad spending was almost 9 billion in 2010 up about 1 Billion vs. 2009.
      What do you think, was it money spent wisely ?
  • Apr 5 2011: As a young adult, I see advertisements as an annoyance. Already, tv ads can be skipped over or completely ignored. Although ads perhaps remain as an effective form of attracting consumers, ads in general are not as impacting as they probably were twenty years ago, when ads were an innovative method of reaching an audience. At this point, creativity is all that truly attracts a consumer.
    • Apr 5 2011: i am with you, creativity and innovative methods are lot more effective
  • Apr 4 2011: I think advertising is very important because it helps us inform people bout our businesses. For example, as a Calgary roofer I find it very difficult to reach my clients without advertising because of the nature of my business.
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      Apr 4 2011: James, so how much ROI do you get out from your ads ? How many roofers are you competing with in your area ? Did you consider other ways to spread the word about your business ?
  • Mar 30 2011: They can be annoying Harald, but the evidence that well executed and targetted advertising works is overwhelming.
  • Mar 25 2011: Because of advertisement, I have completely given up television and most radio (I still managed to find a good radio station that streams without advertisement in Spain because it’s public…)
    I don’t even live in the US! In Europe advertisement is significantly less on conventional media and it’s being even actively cut down by policy and it is still way too much. It has simply become impossible to enjoy.
    Many of my friends feel the same way and have given up TV as well… I really believe that if advertisement does not reinvent itself into something constructive and non-intrusive, it will start losing effectiveness faster and faster and even more of those “advertising dollars” will go down the drain!
    More and more, both I and my friends choose products not on their popularity, but based on their environmental footprint, health effects, etc, which is information hard to find and not usually advertised. I am actually less likely to trust a product that is advertised as “natural” or “bio” etc that comes from a company that is famous for “conventional” products of this type (think cosmetics or food&beverages). I rather make choices based on the word of mouth, customer reviews, or experience.
    That said, creativity, ingenuity and design in advertisement keep surprising me from time to time and I really enjoy a good clip. I usually stream those on youtube however and they rarely have an effect on my consumer behavior…
  • Mar 25 2011: I have worked in advertising, printing and the purchase of printing. Advertising has really taken some hits over the years - but it has proved its worth. The owner of Wanamaker's in Philadelphia once said "I know half of my advertising dollars are wasted - I just don't know which half". There is no one-to-one ratio for advertising - that's why people have to be clever with its use. I'd say that advertising is just a phenomena of attempting to get the word out - not some awful manipulation of the masses.
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    Mar 24 2011: Advertising is only worth the money if it is a small part of a wider marketing campaign centered round the product and/or the company. Free PR and social networks should also be used to advertise the advert itself.

    A company that create a "story" for its products will always have an edge on its competitors.
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      Mar 25 2011: Agreed, people are natural story tellers and also love to hear stories. Not sure though, whether every product/service makes good material to build a story around. But I know a few companies that did a real good job based on story telling.
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        Mar 28 2011: By "story" I meant a "thread" that will create interest and that will captivate the audience, making them look out for the next "instalment".
        Remember the "Nescafe Gold Blend" advert in the 80s in the UK? It generated so much free pr around it. Some of the actors in it are only remembered for the product. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igi9u6X4y-s&feature=related
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          Mar 29 2011: Krimo, no I don't remember the Nescafe ad, but then the advertising landscape changed a lot since then. What worked in the 80s probably wouldn't work anymore today where people care more about what their friends have to say on facebook or twitter than an ad, they don't trust anyway.
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    Mar 23 2011: advertising is powerful.

    but advertising is used to manipulate people. so, its worth the money only if we put it to a better use.
  • Mar 22 2011: Advertising is not as effective on those people who think for themselves, more effective for those that don't. Whether it is worth the money or not depends of which group you're trying to reach.
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      Mar 23 2011: Do you think companies distinguish between a thinking and non-thinking target group ?
      • Mar 23 2011: Yes.

        In a previous life I was a commercial artist. The term ‘Advertising’ has become a generic descriptor for all promotional efforts. Promotion is divided among ‘advertising’, ‘public relations’, ‘corp. communications’ among other additional specific terms.

        For several years back in the 80s I free-lanced at an agency where I helped produce collateral materials, sales support, dealer support, and customer satisfaction materials for Mercedes-Benz.

        If I remember correctly, 85% of the buyers purchased ‘Benz, because it conferred upscale status on the buyer. Another 10% plus purchased ‘Benz just because that was what their old car was, and it was old and worn, and so it was time for a new one. It’s not a decision they would spend a lot of time on. Only 5% or less purchased the ‘Benz because they appreciated its engineering.

        We produced separate materials for these subsets. This is one example from my experience. Not only do companies distinguish the advertising for separate groups, the products themselves are designed to appeal to different groups.
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          Mar 24 2011: Vincine, yes I agree with this kind of grouping. What I was questioning was whether a company would design ads for thinking vs. non thinking people.
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        Mar 23 2011: @Vincine, thanks for the example.

        @Harald, check out the differences between these two car ads.



        I'd love to see what you gather from the differences.
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          Mar 24 2011: the ads are for different groups of people. I think Benz is more for the older and more conservative group, while the Eco Audio is for younger, environmentally more conscious people, but who still want to drive a car instead of a bike. Maybe this ad is geared toward removing some of the guilt an environmentally conscious person could feel in owning a car.

          That said, I rarely watch any ads, but when I do, then I look at them as I would look at a movie evaluating the originality of the story, creativity, etc.
          I would neither run out to buy a Benz nor an Audi based on the ads....lol
      • Mar 24 2011: @Harald; >What I was questioning was whether a company would design ads for thinking vs. non thinking people.< Yes again.

        Most people live on an ‘emotional plane’. Most commercials, radio spots, & paid print promotion are directed to take advantage of this. Public relation placements and corp. communications usually are written and/or produced with an eye toward an objective, or the appearance of an objective, numeration of the benefits of ‘x’. They are meant to be understood on an intellectual level.

        Once upon a time, men smoked unfiltered cigarettes; Camels, Lucky Strikes, etc. Only women smoked filtered cigarettes. The women’s cigarette market was much smaller than the men’s. The Marlboro brand was created to make filtered cigarettes appeal to the larger men's market. Thus the cowboys in the Marlboro campaign. They are designed to appeal toward male's desire to be macho, or at least to not appear feminine, an emotional response.

        The promotional materials a doctor receives from pharmaceutical companies mostly display efficacy and patient improvement statistics, rigged or not, meant to understood by rational analysis.

        Whether a company pushes a product or service primarily via an emotional or an intellectual appeal, or both, depends on the product and the targeted consumers. That’s one of the first considerations in the design of an advertising campaign, the rest of the promotional materials flow from that.
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    Apr 20 2011: I agree with Lance - customers are your best advertisers. How effectively you facilitate those customers in spreading the word becomes the playing field. The technological tools that help to do this are abundant, but tools are only as good as those who use them.

    Still, there must be some benefit (branding?) to traditional forms of advertising in magazines like Vanity Fair and on TV. Otherwise companies would not invest in it.
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    Apr 19 2011: Your customers are your best advertisers, that has always been and will always be.
    Prudent trial and error should determine if any other forms can benefit your business taking into consideration, the dreaded ROI.
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    Apr 12 2011: The problem with advertising is that a lot of it is delivered to the wrong people who have no interest, and it is wasted. There is still a ton of work to be done in advertising about where, when, how, and to whom you should advertise. A lot of this can be done by understanding how your consumers think, and making more sense of how certain products appeal the the same audience, and advertise them together.

    A lot of money has been spent to try and figure this out, but in my opinion, the people spearheading the efforts to do so arent very bright, and havent made much progress. If i could offer my own personal 2 cents on the topic, they could start by realizing that consumers are dynamic, and by the time they do a study on 20 year olds this year, that is obsolete information about what 20 year olds next year will like. Current advertisers are making big mistakes by spending a lot of money to "figure out" what 20 year old white males like, and then they think they are done, and use the same information for add campaigns 5 or 6 years later, and then after wonder why it didnt work.

    Think locally, and ask questions constantly to evolve your message to match your consumers. Most of this is actually done via word of mouth.To answer your question~ yes it is worth the money. But only if you use your head. A local expert would be very valuable to work with while you draw up your ideas for your add campaign. A lot of this is common sense, if you want to sell something to 25 year old females from monterrey, get some smart (and socially involved) 25 year old females from monterrey to help you advertise. (or at least tell your marketting department to do so.)
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    Apr 12 2011: Having focused on the "ma & pa" sized businesses in the tourist industry, I can say that, if other expenses rise, advertising is the first 'optional' expense to go.
    Proving effectiveness of advertising is still a challenge, but arguing against the internet/facebook and twittering is useless. That seems to be where all new money is being spent...
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    Apr 7 2011: Of course, not only is it worth it, but is essential for the survival of our current system. We need to constantly stimulate and manipulated people into buying and consuming more and we are getting better at it. We use latest technology like fMRI to study our deepest instinct to find how to trigger the "buy" button. Of course, we assume that the resources are limitless...
  • Apr 6 2011: Ok after reading the first 20 comments or so I had to chime in... so maybe someone else has said this.

    I make a living by advertising products for businesses. A good living. Its worth it. But Its not worth it if you're stupid.

    with the technology available today you can measure and track the success of your advertising. TV radio and print ads are dying and everything is moving online for this very reason.

    Millions have been made by individuals running ad campaigns from their basement.
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    Apr 6 2011: Advertising is the art of getting an keeping attention, which is essentially good story-telling. Its a shame that most of our story telling is done on behalf of large corporations, but is that really any better than telling stories for kings? There's more bad youtube videos than good, which means not everyone is good a story-telling. But the best paying jobs for good story-tellers are in Advertising.

    Its no wonder we have so many ads, humans love stories, but it blows my mind how much money is put behind fundamentally boring narratives.
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    Apr 5 2011: A very good question, I think. Personally, very few of the products I buy are advertised in mainstream media though I assume I am the exception to the rule.
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    Apr 5 2011: Kids are definitely affected and there are shameful amounts of advertising directed at children in NZ.

    I like to think that I am unaffected by ads. Certainly I try to ignore them, but it really depends on the purpose of the advert.

    If I need a product, chances are that my thoughts will turn first to the product or company that bangs on the most - the squeaky wheel and all that.

    As for being influenced by an ad to buy a product because I'm somehow impressed by their branding attempts or their product image gels nicely with my self-image, I don't believe this works. In fact, for me, it does the opposite. If I feel my intelligence has been insulted (usually because I am not the target audience, I suppose) then I will consciously avoid that product.
  • Apr 5 2011: Advertisements are undoubtebly a waste of money. The age of the internet puts the human race in a position where if i get the sudden impulse to own just about anything, I can link up with a company that produces that item within minutes. Advertisements are obselete. Companies should make use of the money by improving their product, because the internet is essentially free advertisements. The same way consumers can seek manufacturers, manufacturers can also seek potential clients. I believe that companies should re-task the advertising portion of their company to focus on the internet. Hair loss solution company? Look on message boards and opinion sites such as yahoo answers. There are always people on there looking for a solution to their problem, and being a representative of a company, you would hopefully know a reasonable bit more than your average web surfer. if someone looking for a hair loss solution and they receive an answer to their query from an apparently well informed, literate, caring individual, you might just win yourself a new customer. And everyone that visits that post because they googled, "good hair loss products" will see that a user seemingly had his hair issues resolved by your company. Consumer behavior has changed, consumers have evolved. Now its time that advertisements do too. They simply annoy their audience, rather than educating or enticing them.
  • Apr 5 2011: i believe advertising is one of the highest form of opening up, due to globalisation its necessary to let people know what we as business people are giving them. spending money is a something where one has to have a limit. its all about convincing people the end user. its just my perception. people in the developing nation still use television a lots and based on advertising i personally can tell the publicity they get and by which people eventually convince themselves to get the products or services
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    Apr 5 2011: Well advertising can be good if the entire concept of the advert is captivating for example there's an advert for indomie noodles in Nigeria presently and people are usually excited when it's time for the advert either on TV or radio cause it just communicates with people but on the other hand, when an advert is boring or when it's being streamed too often it tends to annoy people and they just shut the eyes of their mind to whatever is being said there and in that light, advertising is said to be a waste of resources. But companies can find a balance by getting good and interesting concepts that entertain and also communicates with the customers and also reduce the frequency of streaming or postings because
    "What becomes familiar becomes unseen".
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    Apr 5 2011: Absolutely not.

    Every piece of empirical data I've seen -- especially as advertising has moved online -- supports the idea that advertising has no causal effect on sales. Someone else has made the joke about 50% going to waste, but not knowing which 50%... It's funny, it rings true, yes, but if that's not the definition of anticausal randomness, then what is? My google-fu isn't working just now, but I've seen charts outlining change in percent spent on advertising by economic sector, and you see all four Cartesian results one would expect from randomness: +ads, +sales; +ads - sales; -ads, +sales; -ads -sales. There's just no consistent link -- it's all partial, random reinforcement.

    The advertising industry as a whole has seen this, too. Bob Garfield's "Chaos Scenario" pieces in AdAge are fairly indicative. FastCompany's piece, "The Future of Advertising," back in November is also instructive (eyebrow raising quote: "Marketing in the future is like sex. Only the losers will have to pay for it."). Simon Dumenco just wrote a column in AdAge supporting the New York Times' move away from an advertising-based model to a subscription-based model, saying it would be "profoundly myopic" to think a publication can support itself today through advertising alone.

    Total advertising spending has been declining, as has jobs in the sector -- I think the figure is about 10-15% for each. (Again, the source is AdAge) Some of it's been moving online (Google and Facebook, obviously), but the amount of dollars they're getting isn't matching the cuts in older media. It's not unlike how record labels get money from iTunes sales, but nowhere near as much as they used to with CDs.

    This is why I've said, Newspapers aren't dying -- advertising is dying. It's just taking newspapers along as collateral damage.
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    Apr 4 2011: Let's put aside traditional Ad's and their message and consider Political Ad saturation and the waste of funds that could be used for better purposes. President Obama announced today that he would be seeking re-election. Soon we'll begin the election process when during certain time slots you can expect to view multiple campaign ads during each commercial break - some positive mostly negative. How many times do you need to view the same Ad every 10 or 15 minutes for days and weeks at a time until they change to a new format with the same negative information. As citizens should we place limits on spending by parties and candidates? Is it possible for a under-financed candidate to have any real chance of being elected. Thank goodness for pay per view channels like showtime and HBO, at least the fortunate few can escape for a short time the unwanted campaign messages.
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    Apr 4 2011: My opinion ads have to be very simple and to catch the eye.But because this ads I hate tv.Have to be a shorter time .I see that gain a lot of money but they make me hate tv.Realy ads is very impotant because they show us the different and new think.But my opinion they have to be shorter time
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    Apr 4 2011: To me Advertising is intuitive way of propagating your idea/product. Some advertisements make you think, make you feel, and some takes your attention away (the background music in the Nescafe ad) . But there are some ads which are poorly created and just annoys you. Advertisement to me is a very creative thing which brings the challenge of making a good and impeccable impression which is long lasting.
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    Apr 3 2011: ...see the free will discussions...the very volume ( in time and space, how often and long you are exposed to them) of some ads, might get into your system in a way that a decision is made in your brain. And six seconds later you realize you bought that product with the most annoying ad....
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    Apr 3 2011: Oh I definitely have a thought on this one.

    I think it definitely depends on what part of the world you are, for one. I know that going back and forth between Romania and Canada, for instance - you see a discrepancy in the way advertising is done, and the trust people place on advertising. In western countries it seems that people have become more selective and ''immune'' to most advertising, and it has become almost somewhat of an art - I am thinking of the superbowl ads, of course, but also the fact that now it's more of a contest to be creative than to inform the consumers about a specific product. I see countless ads that barely specify the name of the product or what it does. That being said, it's insane that nowadays, we still have ads about washing detergents or shampoo that are so cliche (as in: this is the best detergent out there, see how well it cleans?!). In emerging countries like Romania, advertising is much more at an early stage - thus informative ads exist, and creative ones are barely starting to grow.

    From my personal experience, I honestly feel bombarded from all sides with ads. Online ads are simply crazy, I haven't seen a pure content page in a long, long time - and they crawl every single corner of our life online. Gmail, facebook (thank god for ad-blocking software for FB!), everything.

    I'm not sure if I am immune to them, really, or if anyone is. I mean, on a subliminal level, if we're exposed to many many repetitions of the product/brand, no matter the message, we're still more likely to remember that brand and feel connected to it when we face a decision in store - so even if we try to block them out or not buy from them, our instincts might be persuaded otherwise on a subliminal level.

    A few ads that stood out for me these past weeks are the simplest, most beautiful ones - that go against the ''trend'' - I'm thinking Jen Anniston's viral video for Smartwater or Motorola's ad against apple.
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    Apr 1 2011: Yes advertising is still worth the money specially if you're out there building a brand and know what you are doing. The risk is much higher now since if you do it wrong, people now have the internet and social media to rant about you. However, there are far more tools now that allow advertisers to only show their ads to their target market without annoying them.
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    Apr 1 2011: This is a very open ended question. Ads are all based on perception and state of mind. for example if you are hungry you are far more likely to see an ad that advertises a £5 meal deal. Where as if you are in a rush to a meeting you would pass by these adverts without diverting your attention.
    Its all about placing the ads at the right time and in the right place to have the most impact. A business needs to ensure that they target their correct target market through their advertisements to help ensure that they are relevant and not an annoyance. A good example is TV. TV is a very costly form of advertising that in my opinion is losing momentum as a form of advertising. The target market when viewing TV is so broad and with so many channels it can be difficult in targeting the correct market.
    Attention can be drawn to an advert my making it stand out. may this be the colours, sounds etc. But interest can only be developed if a consumer would use or would purchase the product that is being advertised.

    So in short if a consumer is interested in a product or is conducting an information search on the product they will tend to notice the advert more (for the life of me I cant remember the term for this) So it is up to the advertiser to ensure they do it in the right way at the right time and in the right place.

    Hope this helps
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    Mar 31 2011: Maybe someone can us why so much of todays advertising still uses that frenetic 1960ies disc jockey voice. Most disc jockeys abandoned that silly voice decades ago, but apparently some ad execs believe that it still sells. I can't fathom their logic.
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      Apr 1 2011: Hi Clay! I think that there are two reasons for that voice. One demographic looks back at the '60s as their heyday and are automatically triggered to feel youthful and powerful when they hear it and another younger demographic has a folklore about the '60s that makes it attractive. Both demographics have money to spend on the product in question.
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    Mar 31 2011: the real debate is not whether advertising is of value, but what exactly is advertising today? The lines have blurred today where it is hard to distinguish an ad from a promo from an endorsement from an editorial comment. Coca-cola's product placement on American Idol is a perfect example. The brand is blended into the program where the viewer barely realizes that they are paying to be there. is that advertising? It is interesting that Coca-cola does not also run 30 or 60 second spots during the program. why is that? when we pay bloggers to "comment" on our products, is that advertising or some kind of public relations effort?
    In terms of efficiency you have to decide on what your goals are? are you looking to build a brand and develop awareness? How big is your distribution?
    Are you looking for advertising to be more of a direct response tool?
    Ultimately, advertising is only a mechanism. It is not the solution. If the messaging is right and the brand is on point then it is enjoyable to experience in any format. Apple products are fun to use and their ads are fun to watch. It is part of their brand ethos to be clean, simple, design-oriented and unconventional. If the ads are just about selling computers or the size of a hard drive, then yes advertising will be a waste of time, but their ads stand out because they are more about being different then about buying a computer.
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    Mar 30 2011: For me, prime time TV advertising is terribly annoying. It targets a low-information demographic. I can't believe its the 24 to 54 demographic. It seems more like 14-18 demo. Nearly every ad is fantasy based, some kind of dream or flying fantasy with superhuman machines or monsters. Real people doing real things seems to have disappeared from ads. So has rationality. The ad agencies talk down to their viewers so badly , they apparently think the viewers are all stoned or drugged or dimwits. I like fun imagery, but TV ads are insulting. I memorize the worst ads and vow NEVER to buy that product. Advertising can cut both ways.
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      Mar 31 2011: I very much agree, and I also think that ads can cut both way. I'm like you, if an ad crosses my threshold of annoyance (which is very low anyway) then I'm much more inclined not to buy that particular product.
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      Apr 2 2011: Studies indicate that even a bad ad- if memorable - will outlive the memory of its negative salience and all that will be left in the consumer's mind is the memory of the brand name. In the end a memorably bad or annoying ad leaves its hook and eventually will predispose a person to remember that product at the time of actual choice.
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        Apr 4 2011: Debra, true, I agree with that, but that only helps you to push the brand awareness, which doesn't necessarily translate into higher profits.
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          Apr 5 2011: Brand awareness is now considered as a line item on stock holder information packages and highly valued in the evaluation of companies. Some companies are actually worth far more because of their brand awareness. Brand awareness enables line extensions and new categories of offerings to go to market with far less headwind than they would normally recieve.
      • Apr 12 2011: Head on, apply directly to the head. Stupid commercial, ill always remeber the product, never use it.
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          Sky F

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          Apr 22 2011: Ironic how the commercial induces the symptom that its product treats. ;)
  • Mar 30 2011: Good Question....Yes advertising is still worth a money
    In now a days advertising is based on which brand ambassdor is acting in that ad.....here it is curiosity starts
    once this news is in newspapers...finally with a lot expectation the ad comes and definitly the TRP ratings of
    that particular newspaper or TV channel hikes ..due to the curiosity of the ambassder
    But i dont think so just by seeing a famous acter or actress or sportsmen ..that a
    particular advertisment or that particular product sales will be high
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    Mar 28 2011: This is an interesting question that I've pondered quite a bit in my spare time. I'm sure that we've all had instances where we've felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ads in our society: driving down a highway and noticing the profusion of billboards, surfing the net and being importuned by pop-ups, watching a television program in-between a parade of commercials, etc. In my opinion, advertisements are not as effective as corporations seem to think that they are, simply because people in contemporary times are becoming desensitized toward them from their over-familiarity to us. Commercials and advertisements are ubiquitous in modern society, to the point that the only time that they are actively noticed is when they become annoying.

    Of course, commercials are still effective up to a point: they can passively influence us by making 'suggestions' to our unconscious mind, and they help get the word out about new products and services. Additionally, whether we are cognizant of it or not, commercials involving famous/popular spokesmen do have a powerful effect on sales of the product, and I'm sure companies pour over their data regularly to ensure their massive contracts with such spokesmen are worth the price tag. In general, however, I feel that advertising in general is pretty overblown--in my own experience, I rarely pay attention to most commercial mediums anymore: when I see TV commercials I change the channel, when I see billboards I look away, and I don't even notice internet ads anymore unless they are thrust into my face, which only makes me angry. I know that this is anecdotal, but I feel safe in assuming that many other Americans are similarly disenchanted with advertising, and the numbers of people who are desensitized to them will increase in proportion to society's permeation with them.
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      Mar 29 2011: I guess, that's more or less the way I feel about advertising too with the only exception, that having a famous spokesperson, means nothing to me, since we all know that they are paid for doing the ad (exceptions apply when it comes to causes)
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      Mar 29 2011: Birdia, 2 questions for you:1) how do you identify whether a company has something to say or not ? I mean, each company that places an ad, obviously thinks they have something to say, otherwise they wouldn't be advertising in the first place.2) What does it take to create an ad with "the greatest possible impact" ? How do you make it stand out of the ad ocean ?
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          Mar 31 2011: Hi Birdia, yes, I admit Apple is not our typical company. Many things they do are different from mainstream and that's what makes them so successful.
          But how many companies like Apple are there ? And even in the case of Apple, I'm not sure that they can continue on their track once Steve Jobs is gone. Apple for me equals Steve Jobs.
  • Mar 25 2011: Recently I read an article about BMW's new commercial. The commercial flashes before moving on to the next. During that flash, though (which goes by unnoticed) the words BMW are imprinted on your eyesight if you close your eyes. (Same concept is behind seeing purple spots after staring at the sun). BMW claims its not subliminal messaging because you are aware you are watching a BMW commercial. Anyway, they said it wouldn't be run in the U.S.A.

    As far as efficiency goes, a lot of the best commercials don't even advertise the product. A string of recent Geico commercials will prove this. They are short clips about idioms such as "A woodchuck chucking wood" and "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". Completely irrelevant to car insurance, of course, but so long as the prospective commercial remembers the commercial, they're good. Other advertisements will at least feature the product but will do so only outrageously (see doritos commercial with the pug played during the superbowl).

    In Chicago (I believe) anonymous people began putting up huge posters with an image of a white cane with an entwined snake on a black background. No words, just the image. More and more began popping up around the city, on benches in parks, in the subway. People begin wondering what they are. Then BAM! press release. It's advertising the new season of House - it's the snake from the caudexi which represents the medical committee entwined around the cane House limps around on. The whole city has no idea what's being advertised to them which makes the final reveal that much more powerful.
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    Mar 24 2011: Advertising has been in the business of manipulating people for a long time. It is a mulitbillion dollar industry that's purpose is to use science and psychology to convince people to choose to pay a premium for a product that is often just a commodity.
    Having said that - smart companies are now doing it in fresh new ways that do not smack of manipulation (at least at first glance). The greatest success story in the world in the last few years in my estimation is RED BULL. It was a product that went from zero to hero with very little financial investment because it chose to market a bit more sincerely (and I'm not even sure that is the word I should be using). It went directly to where the core demographic was, gave away the product to "cool" people who would be seen embracing it and it was a very successful strategy. It used no media marketing until the product was established in the area. It was almost like TUpperware for the next generation. People you knew were convinced by or used the product and so on their recommendation you try it.
    Advertising is a requirement in this day and age- but not the traditional advertising.
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      Mar 24 2011: I like the Red Bull example because 1) i like Red Bull and no other energy drink so far matches Red Bull (P.S. I'm not paid by Red Bull !!) and 2) Red Bull is from my home country.
      However, although I don't know what RB's marketing budget is, I think it's significant. Watch a sport TV channel, especially extreme sports, and there is almost no program where you don't see RB in some form or shape.
      But I think, you are right that they are doing advertising a bit different. At least I don't feel them intrusive, but maybe that's just my subjective view because I like the drink....lol
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        Mar 25 2011: Yes, as RED Bull grew is alotted a lot of money to media advertising of sporting events especially Xtreme sports but it was a deliberate tactic not to spend on media until the market was established. The second stage- first friendships with athletes, then the personal atheletic sponsorships, and campus cultivation, then small fringe sporting activities where RED BULL was handed out and once their demographic was convinced- media advertising.
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    Mar 24 2011: I think it depends on the type.
    Look at Ax, red bull, and old spice commercials and the like. These have a lot of hits on youtube. Which is insanely good for a commercial right? free voluntary advertising?
    then look at the deluge of irrelevant commercials that curdle people's patience.
    I have the feeling in the coming years, advertising will entirely change its game. You may still have ads on youtube and TV or whatever. but you will pick which ads you want to see. Vegetarians can choose to opt out of burger ads. Fasionistas can opt into design ads. Thats what people want anyway. advertisers want to find the people who are interested. People want products they will enjoy.
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      Mar 24 2011: Sarina, I agree. There are ads and there are ads. Some (most ?) are really getting on ones nerves, while others are subtle and don't cause aversion.
      People should be able to decide what if any ads the want to see. At the end, it's rather counter productive for a company to deliver ads to me that only get me annoyed. But that's exactly what happens with traditional ads.
      Look at print magazines. I get the impression that every other page is an ad. Or TV programs. Watching a movie on TNT takes about 30 minutes more because of all those ads. This means, all these ads are stealing 30 minutes/movie from my life.
      On the other hand, VOLUNTARILY signing up to a company newsletter is an entirely different story and promoting products this way might have a much higher success rate (at lower cost) than just cluster bomb a whole nation with an ad.
      You are talking about opting out, but I would go even further and say, people should opt in to any ad the want.
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    Mar 24 2011: Subtle ads from humanistic and sustainable companies like FLOR Interface. Living wages, fair trade - Whole Foods comes to mind. Corporate culture - GORE-TEX, etc. Can't help but smile at Ben & Jerry's. I've also not seen a disappointing "Ad Worth Spreading" yet.

    Ad #1: What might a civil rights hero insisting on equality @ the Lincoln Memorial have to do with Mercedes Benz? Need we discuss the target audience? This flashy automobile commercial set off a firestorm in some American communities.

    Ad #2: Audi target seems at opposite end of the social spectrum when compared to Ad #1.
    • Mar 24 2011: You clearly respond to certain ads positively largely due to your personal beliefs. An ad such as the Mercedes "winner" ad is obviously not targeted at you as I doubt you would be likely to buy an over-priced, over-powered, extrovert vehicle such as that no matter how it was advertised. I personally find the Audi "green police" ad slightly offensive on the grounds that (a) driving a large vehicle with slightly better fuel mileage than some is hardly a ringing endorsement of a green lifestyle, and (b) because, although the ad is amusing, the concept of the green police isn't too far from reality!

      All of which illustrates that advertisers try to design their ads to appeal to their target market, and often don't care too much what others think.
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        Mar 24 2011: That brings me back to the question, who actually runs and buys an Audio or a Benz based on these ads ? I don't know about you guys, but I make decisions, especially if a lot of money is involved, based on careful analysis of information, but not an ad. The only impact an ad could have on me is to make me aware of the existence of a particular product or service (which might already be some justification for an ad).
        But then the question is, whether there isn't a better way to do that and more importantly in a less intrusive way.
        I very much agree with Seth Godin's concept of "permission marketing".

        P.S. Vincine that's also in response to your latest post further down.
        • Mar 24 2011: It might be useful to be aware of the difference between ‘Advertising’ and ‘Promotion’.

          Whether someone buys something because of an ad; has to do with the ticket price of the product, the amount of money in their purse, and the benefits they think they will receive.

          It is unlikely one buys a car because of an ad. Many will consider a car because of an ad campaign. They will seek information from the company’s other promotional materials. They will seek additional information from the company’s public relations placements, etc. They will then make their decision. In order to be in the running for the consumer’s dollar, the consumer has to be aware of the product in the first place. That is the purpose of car promotions, which include ads. They open the door to the rest of the purchasing process. How likely is it that one would drop tens of thousands of dollars for a car & company they never heard of?

          Many may buy a candy bar because of an ad, or more likely, a campaign. Candy bars, have a low enough ticket price that most will not feel a great loss should they dislike the product. They may buy one because of an ad. Still the awareness has to be present before the purchase can be made. Imagine if there were NEVER any commercials for candy bars, and you never had seen ANY of them before. How likely is it you would spend your time reading all the packages to see which ones were chocolate, which were coconut, which were ‘peanut butter’ which were some combination of the preceding. That you don’t have to do that is because you’ve seen ads that have already told you what they are. All you have to do is decide which one you want. The promotion has moved you along the purchasing process.
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    Mar 23 2011: Advertising is a means of communication that tries to reach massive audience using mass communication tools.... SO advertising importance is determined by the target audience of its message. In today's world with the increase in audience mental standards and awareness advertising is faced with 2 main issues, 1st is to upgrade its techniques and message aspects to be able to address such mentalities, 2nd is to pick its media more smartly and pay much more attention to targeting its audience.....
    But as long as there is a competition there will always be advertising and its importance will never decrease
  • Mar 23 2011: If I have a product or service I want to sell to as many people as possible, I have to let them know about it. Advertising is one way -- usually the cheapest way -- to do so. The industry has obviously changed, most notably with the spread of in-context ads such as on Google and many Internet forums, and advertisers have to find ever more innovative ways to make their ads stand out from the noise. But as long as someone wants to sell something to someone else, I believe advertising will be around.In my company we advertise in order to get people onto our website. In other words, if a listener/reader/watcher goes to our site, the ad was 100% successful. The website then tries to give them adequate information about our service and to whet their appetite to come and visit. If they do, the website was 100% successful. When they visit, we try to turn them into a customer. So advertising is just one part of a defined sales strategy, but a key part.
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    Mar 23 2011: All comments well taken.... But I still contend that advertising as we've known it has been swamped by a deluge of technological innovation and a true sea-change as to how we receive and get information (much like what print journalism is experiencing). It remains to be seen how advertising will resurface and re-invent itself, but it will!!! The entrepreneurial spirit will take hold...
  • Mar 23 2011: personaly i skip as many adds as i can,, cant stand binging or googling to find imfo on the net about something only to be overwelmed and frustrated with some one missleading me to some add for something i dont need ,or even worse you try and do a price comparison / only to find out you have to give a lot of personal imfo and wait to be emailed back the price, just to day i tried to contact logitech head office for some support on a product and kept getting rerooted to some one trying to sell me something even though the sight said official logitech office.. i beleave if advertisment is to work it must make it an enjoyable experiance,,not frustrate the customer into shutting off the pc, and go into the store of convienants,,for adds to work on the net companys like google and bing must first filter out all the miss leading crap so people like me who arnt as savey on the computer dont just say screw it and go to best buy for simplisaty ..although i have been waching some adds on this sight and have enjoyed them do to their presentaion /and charm..
  • Mar 23 2011: I think that ads are the beneficial ways to catch customer's attention. Because ,nowadays, most people use the electrical devices such as TV , The smart phones , The tablet pc and etc. It means companies can grab a lot of opportunities to show their brands to their potential patrons through diverse channels. Therefore , from company's point of view , making an advert is one of cheap methods to attract customer's eyes compared to different ways like personal selling and so on. Then, if companies can make attractive ads that can appeal to consumers , they can improve their brand awareness that can have people buy their products. What i want to say might get off this topic a little bit. My point is that customers should have some skills in order to figure out what the core messages are , whether the ad's stories are ture or just provoke purchase. Indeed we should watch ads in critical ways not just for fun.
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    Mar 23 2011: " I know half of my advertising is wasted but I don't know which half" once said by John Wannamaker. So that dilemma is always there but still marketing effort in many categories depends on advertising. Effectiveness of of advertising depends on many variables starting from product type, it's life cycle, target group , media used , message to be delivered,the way message delivered and so on.........
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    Mar 22 2011: I find certain extremists, see advertisement as an infringement on privacy. Annoyance would be an understatement. Every blue moon however, there is an experience associated with a company that makes us smile... it is still worth the money.
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      Mar 22 2011: I think whether ads are an infringement on our privacy or not depends on the context.
      Ads in the yellow pages are certainly no infringement, while ads every 10 minutes or so on TNT, don't make all people happy.
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        Mar 24 2011: They are ALL an infringement on some people. As I noted, we are extremists. Even the yellow pages are annoying :) We are the rare breed that boycott television, shopping malls, and the like.

        I think our dilemma comes from an obsessive tendency (on the part of the type A) to pay attention to detail.
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          Mar 24 2011: Well, true to some degree. The yellow pages are annoying from my point of view as a business owner because they call me at least once per week trying to sell their ads.
          Needless to say that I simply hang up on them. So much to an efficient advertising and/or customer acquisition strategy. But then, on second thought, maybe I'm the minority and their strategy works sufficiently well to keep going.
          But tell me, what has a company to do to convince YOU about their service/product ?
          How do YOU filter through the endless ocean of ads ?
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    Mar 22 2011: Much credit Vincine! My question and perhaps our solution, what factors can we flank that contribute to to this overwhelming ignorance? I look to our most effective social tool - education.
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    Mar 22 2011: i think yes it does worth...because this is the only you may come to know about best product,though it is another way to dazzle you.....and specially in some aspects like awareness programs, ads has no substitutes....we can see impact of ads on HIV and climate change and afforestation programs in INDIA....
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      Mar 22 2011: Hi Ankur, so what does it take for an ad to call YOUR attention ?
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    Mar 22 2011: Advertising products and services has experienced a technological tsunami and will never be the same. Hard to predict how it will survive or even IF it will survive (it may go the way of travel agents and other businesses that have become marginalized by the age of information).
    For now, people are being influenced increasingly by customer feedback on websites (4 stars, 3 stars, etc.) and just the ability to do their own due diligence on things like cars, even houses (I virtually did everything on line except buy my car a few months ago. Once I had answered all my questions I went to the dealership and basically told them exactly what I wanted and for how much).
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      Mar 22 2011: Hi Jim, so do you think the word of mouth is more efficient than ads ?
      About the car purchase: what was it that made you decide for whatever make you finally bought ? Why that and not another make ? Did you make your decision on just the technical spec. and/or looks of the car ?
      Assuming that ads don't work as they did in the past, how should a company get the word to the market ?
      • Mar 24 2011: Word of mouth is always better than advertising. My company generally wins contracts based on someone either 'oh, she was good last time' or 'I know someone who can do that'

        As for getting it to the market... Check as example, Profound Decisions, a leisure event company(Live Roleplay, for anyone who knows what that is). Doesn't advertise, just grows on the 'bring a friend, get a discount' methodology - sufficiently that they paid off initital investment within first five years, and is expanding capacity as fast as can be. Circulated one letter at startup to relevant university societies, and one more when they started to run more events a year.

        Specialist company, knows its market, provides what the customer wants, and concentrates on custemer service so that people will recommend it.

        It probably doesn't work as a model to sell parsnips, but for any luxury product, it's worth examining whether money spent on adverts could more effectively be spent on having a better product (I can think of a few games, for example, that could have benefited from less hype and more testing.)