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WE’RE BACK – Media never sleeps.

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A lot has definitely happened during my (unexpected) hiatus since the last post. This blog is going to be geared towards the digital/tech industry. But still keeping the advertising/PR perspective. The mashup between digital/tech and advertising will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

As always, I welcome all questions from my readers. Please feel free to shoot me an email at theadvant@yahoo.com.

Hah, media never sleeps — even if you do.

Brands Bracing for Change: Upscaling & Downscaling

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Top tier and lower-end brands are shifting their positioning in the consumers’ eyes. While some brand names are downscaling their value, some brands such as Walmart and Mazda are trying to upscale their name in hopes of attracting more consumers to buy their products. 

Why is it difficult for companies to brace for this change? Because companies are like humans. Companies don’t want to cope with the fact that consumers’ ideals are changing rapidly. In the age of social media, your brand could be dead last one day and with a viral video overnight, it could be the only brand people talk about the next day. Brands are changing constantly, but is it a good idea to shift their positioning? 

The case study mentioned in Ad Age’s article, “Why JCP, Walmart, and Others Fail at Changing their Spots” talked about Ron Johnson and J.C. Penney. Ron Johnson has transformed the company into a JCP boutique-like department store and all the prices were changed to whole dollars. This transformation soon led to Johnson’s departure due to insufficient market sales, and the company had lost $985 million. 

On the other end, Mercedes-Benz is hoping to catch the consumers’s eye by offering a sedan with a coupe styling for only $29,000. This car model has not been released yet, but there was a Super Bowl commercial highlighting the low price for the Mercedes, which will be unveiled in September. You know you are up to big things, when you can release a commercial 7 months prior to the actual product launch and get people talking. 

So is this good strategy to get consumers buzzing about your high-end product? Probably not in the long-term. Consumers think of name brands for a reason – the top tier, the quality, the best, the superior. And price usually goes hand-in-hand with that thought. So for MB to lower its prices, it might open a new target market for them, but brand as a whole might lose some value and dollars. It’s always easier to sell something at a lower price. 

Apologies

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Sorry for the long hiatus in blog posting. Transferring to a different school and keeping up with classes made up an interesting year.

Father of Advertisng, the ADvant review

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First off, Ogilvy on Advertising, is a must-read for people who are interested in the field of advertising. This advice was past down from my advertising professor, and now I am doing the same for you. David Ogilvy (founder of Ogilvy & Mathers internationally) is considered the “Father of Advertising” and rightly so because of his professionalism and creative brilliance he brought to the table and during his clients’ meetings.

Yes, this book is a little outdated since it was published in 1983; but it brings up important points nonetheless. These are general rules to keep in mind while launching any type of campaign. Even if the book was written before the advent of e-mail and social media. Ogilvy might roll over in his grave if he saw what Facebook has become in today’s world.

Here are the top 6 points that I learned from reading this book:

  • Research is important, important, important. Data backs up results. Research saves time, money, effort – in all, it saves. Without research, clients can dump millions of dollars on your little poor campaign (an ineffective campaign to start with) and expect sales. Quantitative data projects consumer results. No data equals no sales.
  • Reverse type is a no-no. You see this dark text on light background – keep that. People don’t want to adjust their eyes to read your atrocious white-on-black. This applies to print ads, billboards, and various places you don’t want to strain your eyes.
  • Long copy sells more than short copy.  I thought that this was one of the most important points he had reiterated throughout the book. Although I do understand the technique and psychology behind long copy, I’m not quite sure people nowadays have the attention span for it. True, it also depends on your target audience. If someone is investing their time and money in an industrial tool for their company, you better believe they will read all your copy for it. To a certain extent,  I interpreted his point as the more luxurious or valuable your product is (depending on your audience) , the more copy it needs (very simplified view of mine).
  • Make information in your advertisements relevant to the product your are selling. This might seem like a given to many advertisers. But I can see why some ads can be misrepresented. That is the worse news for advertisers – all that work and the consumer still does not understand the product. In a study performed by Professor Jacoby of Purdue University in 1979, participants where shown 25 typical TV commercials. He found that all of them where somehow miscomprehended, some by many as 40%. I can imagine in a world as complicated as ours today, how that percentage could be rising. Also, sex doesn’t always sell. (i.e, Paris Hilton eating a Carl’s Jr. burger…you really think she would eat a burger?)
  • Celebrities and humor produce high recall rates, but not sales. Yes, that funny SuperBowl M&M commercial made me laugh, and I enjoy the “Sexy and I Know It” snippet every time it plays on TV, but has that made me go to the store and buy a pack of M&M’s? Nope, I don’t even remember the last time I bought candy. I suppose celebrities and funny commercials are part of the formula for SuperBowl commercials, and it’s been an American tradition ever since who knows when. Additionally, using celebrity for a testimony is not a credible source – consumers will assume that you paid them to say so-and-so, and thus is probably perfectly true.
  • Communication is key. This is applied to all walks of life, but certainly in advertising – no wonder why it’s in the College of Communications. Granted, there are many business components and sales is definitely a key factor in determining a company’s success – but at the end of the day, did your consumer understand what you are trying to communicate to them? The message transition between advertiser to consumer is crucial and should not be taken lightly. Also, Ogilvy mentioned the importance of advertising during a recession because it creates awareness of the brand, even in hard times.

Some of his points where “no, duh” points to me. But I find it reassuring that he mentioned them because it would have been worse if he had assumed. Don’t just assume – research, crank out numbers, produce some results. In this industry, you don’t just assume – you dig up data and analyze.

Some of his points were out-dated. Direct mail pieces, which were a popular choice back then for direct response, is not used as often as it is now today. Most mail advertisements we receive at home meet the paper shredder in my house. Though, the company I work at, is an advocator for direct mail pieces, which I can see some effectiveness in the direct-tracking results for a direct mail campaign.

In all, this was an important read because it provided his experience in the industry (which in order, for me to save time, I don’t want to make the same mistakes). Advertising takes time, and it’s not as easy as the consumer perceives it to be, even if he/she might think they are smarter. Good advertising produces quick turnaround results, but great advertising is used for many years and ensures brand loyalty.

You do know it’s hard to avoid name-brand products, right? And where did that all start…

theADvant Facebook & Twitter

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Remember to Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/theADvant) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/theADvant) for more updates and news! From an advertising standpoint, communication is key. Much appreciated.

theADvant

Post-Hiatus

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Word from the Creator:

Sorry for the delay in updated posts, I had a minor setback on the schedule of weekly entries due to conflicts and will be updating regularly now that summer is in full bloom.

Tina

WELCOME to the ADvant

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Dear Prospective Readers,

Thanks for dropping by this page for the first official blog entry of the ADvant. I’m very pleased to release this blog for the public starting today. the ADvant will be devoted to reviewing current advertisements for today’s consumers and looking at the pros and cons of certain campaigns.

Some might question the reason for starting this blog – the purpose of this blog is to merely inform and evaluate the business of “advertainment” with the mindset of an account executive. There will be weekly entries on companies that I have either liked or thought needed a slight change in their advertising techniques. Additionally, there will be interesting advertising and PR news that will be updated regularly throughout  the week.

With some humor and wit, I have decided to make the ADvant my home, a place where I can put down my thoughts and opinions on today’s advertising world. As consumers, we have the final say in what we choose to buy or invest our time. With that being said, the ADvertising ADvantage means we are the true and final judges of what advertisements mean to us. Who knows, you might just learn something – and with that, “Knowledge is power.”

*All opinions and thoughts are strictly of the individual. We live in a free country, feel free to disagree.

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