Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why so many ads are embarrassingly awful - yeah, SHIT

I many times wonder why there is so much BAD advertising out there. How can well paid and intelligent people spend so much money on shit?

I know it´s stressful when a brief comes in and unfortunately a lot of agencies don´t have time to let their planners do a proper job finding insights, and I do think that if you buy enough spots on TV you will win through repetition, so perhaps the clients don´t think it´s necessary to create quality. After all, psychological research has proven that we like better what we have seen several times (which is awesome for ageing people in romantic relationhips...) but still...

I get sad listening to the copy in this ad, because it repeats the word: SWIRL. Why? To hypnotize me? Well, I don´t like it...

A lot of brands also have this annoying habit to use their own industry lingo to speak with normal people. This ad to the left is one example; I have NEVER heard a real person speak about "devices" when it comes to technology (the most used word I think is "thingie"). I have seldom heard the word "ultimate" either; it´s just not something the customer say, so why try to win them over by speaking in that way ? It´s just confusing.

If you really want great, effecive (and award winning) ads, you can´t avoid the stage where you are getting to know your consumers. Just as in romantic situations you can´t just jump into marriage (at least most of us) before dating and finding out more about each other. You have to ask questions to the target audience, analyse their movements, their reactions and feelings. Understand how they speak, think and are. Don´t just go into a brain storm room with your colleagues and the client to vent whatever you are thinking. You can explode ideas at the stage after - once you have figured out drivers and barriers - but not as step 1.

I know people can be scary (...) and that it´s easier to catch up with your agency mates, but come on... You are not the norm, especially not if you are the cool 25-year old who just scored his first job :)

Look, I don´t want to patronize just because I have lived decades outside advertising; I don´t think I am better than you :) I come up with bad ideas as well. I fail nailing the insight and strategy. I mess up. We all do. But let´s at least try, huh? Build a ground before you paint the house.

Help me analyze bad ads! Please send examples and figure out what is "wrong" with them! Let´s create a "least efficient" award, lol. Let us put the client in the centre, drop our egos and work together to create miracles.

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