Thursday, February 26, 2009

Advertising... behind the axe effect>>> Part I

Advertisers constantly invent cures to which there is no disease. ~Author Unknown

The Ad war is always on, fiercely and ferociously with all the Khans and Bachans, Gangulies and Tendulkars, as weapons on either side in this battle of ideas, designed and executed by ad agencies through various media in varying combination, for the corporate with loads of money, in pursuit of attaining their business objectives-sales volumes, profit or competitive edge.

Advertisements are generally considered as torture or at least an unwanted intrusion in between our valuable hours of infotainment says my class where I last taught Marketing and this topic accidentally came into discussion… Is it so? Not exactly was my answer (biased that I am to the ad world)….. Some recent studies, I told them reveal that many people, youngsters in particular see commercial breaks as more interesting and entertaining than the main programmes in between where these ads peep in…. There the class got struck.. they didn’t protest and it looked that they to an extent agree to that study… The variety of Pepsi ads related to a world cup cricket some years back was chosen as the most interesting TV show by youngsters and college students in a survey conducted in Chennai city at that time… It was shocking for the researcher but that was it…

What does this mean? Does that mean that these ads are doing their jobs? They are reaching their intend targets and are driving people in herds to drink Pepsi or Coca Cola? It doesn’t matter, which brand… come summer the cola sales are up and this summer is no different….. “What is Coca Cola?, it is really water and syrup. But the stuff about the brand is so big and Americanized and refreshing it makes the product really big” … now who doesn’t know that and yet why people buy the yankee stuff and gulp down?

The hype and hoopla created by the continuous and persistent influx of advertisements, termed as ad campaign so influence the consumers psyche, that there will be no place for logical reasoning or to be more genuine many a times logic slowly hides behind hype and slowly fades into oblivion … Repetition is the key and our ad guys know it… Joseph Goebels , the propaganda guru of Adolf Hitler is the inspiration for the Ad world… “tell a lie and it shall remain a lie”.. said he… “but repeat it and it becomes the truth”

Advertising, as per the American Advertising Association, is “any paid form or non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor”. In the process of advertising, the partners at work are the sponsor (manufacturer/marketer), the ad agency and the media, with the consumer or the prospective consumers as the target. The degree of compatibility and like levels of thinking between these partners is the most important ingredients towards success. The agency creates message contents for the sponsor, and executes through the media to the target audience and such messages should be able to gain attention, hold interest, arouse desire and elicit action as far as the audience is concerned…

Regardless of whether an advertisement uses rational or an emotional appeal, regardless of the USP or ESP used, ads work, only if it is identified and owned by the segment of the audience for whom they are designed and executed. New ideas may be resisted or even be counterproductive if the message is poorly designed. This becomes a headache for international marketers in particular because of the cultural, linguistic and racial variations from continent to continent, country to country and even within a single country.

As per Keegan, there are five international product and promotional strategies namely ‘Straight Extensions’ – into the new market, “Product Adaptation” – as per the new market, “communication adaptation” –for the new market, “Dual Adaptation” –where the product and promotion changes for the new market and “Product Invention” – creating new products ….Read your Marketing text books guys… It is a wonderful Model by Keegan….

Theories apart, in practical market, every new entry is a nightmare for the sponsor and the agency, through which they communicate to the consumer. Successful ad agencies do their homework keeping in mind the cultural difference and behavioral pattern of the target audience … But it is easier said than done… This home work thing… is it not??

Tail Piece:-
Ram: I can't understand why you failed in business...
Guru: Too much advertising
Ram: What do you mean too much advertising? You never spent a dime on advertising.
Guru: That's true, but my competitors did.


dinkan said...

though its true to an extend that advertisers/agencies are trying to make truth out of lies by repetitive advertising its an eternal truth that a product have no long term existence if the consumer doesnt experience what he/she perceive about the product....

dinkan said...

abt the survey i too read about it but was not surprised and may be looking from another angle, most of the TV shows are so boring for the audience and that may be one reason they find ads interesting just because they are always fresh with ideas, always improving in execution etc..:-)

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