Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's goanna change your life forever!

Sitting in a meeting yesterday listening to a client say the same thing using the same words most clients use, I began to wonder to myself how utterly ungrounded we are in this industry. We really do over estimate the size of our roles in peoples lives. Hearing words like 'talk of the town' and 'win their hearts', you have to sit back and wonder to yourself 'have I ever talked or felt that way about a brand in my time on this earth?'. We read books like brand sense by martin Lindstrom who goes on to draw parallels from branding to religion. Almost every agency preaches its end benefit in unoriginal ways by using terms like 'Love' , 'Belief', 'Loyalty Beyond Reason'.
If we do indeed use such words in our daily interaction, taking a step back every now and then and gaining some perspective on the context might be a wise idea.

I believe it was John Grant who summed it up quite eloquently to a client once 'Mate its a f***ing biscuit'


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post X

I totally agree. We marketing and advertising people tend to be very arrogant about people’s reception to our work.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Context is to be remembered always, I agree we do forget.

4:58 PM  
Blogger X said...

Thanks anonyMous, much appreciated.

Happy Holidays everyone, we'll be back after Eid.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Thought provoking post - loved it!

We are all in this make believe together - what do we say to a client who says his soft drink is not competing with other soft drinks - it is competing with water?

"Get real man, it's just a soft drink!" No.

"Sure, we can do that - how big is your budget?" Yes.

Pitch won!

It's the consumer response that brings us back to our senses, many times.

More value needs to be given to pre and post advertising research to bring clients and agencies closer to the ground realities.

The Saudi TV metering system, for example, is a good step in that direction.

5:31 PM  
Blogger X said...

good point Farrukh...I assume we will be having our cup of coffee pretty soon.


5:36 PM  
Anonymous Incognito said...

Great post indeed X. I tend to both agree and disagree (as it is much more conventional these days to not only sit on the fence, but to BE the fence).

I agree that most of the time, we in the industry do tend to overdo things - really how much of our work is so important to consumers' lives? Do they notice? Do they care? Do agencies that speak of love and belief not feel that most of their love is unrequited?

At the same time though, as a fellow consumer - I have to admit - although I may not have given my heart and all my love to many brands or built relationships with most brands...i have had affairs with them. I can't live with out my iPod, I can't do without my GTI, and I'm sure there are plenty more.

C'mon. All of you. Admit it. You have 'affairs' with brands everyday. All of us do. So even though most of work does not really live up to all that we wish, don't underestimate what you have the potential to do.

Interestingly enough, a friend of mine the other day shared an interesting thought with me. "It's quite a vain industry isn't it? We don't save lives, we don't educate people - yet we have more awards ceremonies than any other industry in the world."

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Incognito said...

Speaking of John Grant, you guys should really check out the debate going on about Honda's famous award winning 'Grrr' ad on Adliterate (

John proposes the question of whether not a campaign like that has really had such an effect on consumers (considering it was only actually aired for two weeks) or was it just a huge impact in adland?


5:06 PM  
Anonymous Incognito said...

Sorry, this is the correct link...

5:07 PM  
Blogger X said...

Oh how we have missed you Icognito!

Good to hear from u and about ur love afair with Fast. Considering what u paid for it u better be having a love affair with it. That is what I call moral justification...helps us sleep better at night...

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Incognito said...

Good to be back X! It's been a long time gone indeed.

Yes, moral justification. 'Tis true. But c'mon.

I'm sure you have a few love affairs in your life? I'm sure you would get quite Defensive if I were to bring up the love affair you have with your choice of transportation, no?

Some of us even would go as far as keep the owner's manual as 'Classic reading material' in the restroom, no?

So I ask you my dear friend....moral justification? Or True Love?

2:37 PM  
Anonymous farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Love marks, maybe?

LOL... it keeps getting funnier.

Hey, incognito - nice quip about awards - and another funny bit - people don't give us ad people awards for our service to humanity - we give awards to OURSELVES. We're so funny!


3:43 PM  
Anonymous Incognito said...

Yes Farrukh,

Sad and funny. Building on your thought there though, I'd be curious to know if there are any (or have been any attempts for that matter) at at consumers giving awards to brands?


I'm sure now that somewhere, someone in the cosmos is just about to say "But they already reward you by buying your brands!"

5:19 PM  
Blogger X said...

It was my right kidney I traded in for that love affair Incognito.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous incognito said...

Well I hope you believe in manogamous relationships or you're gonna run out of organs my friend.

3:01 AM  
Blogger X said...

Incognito...your car been giving u some slack about ur girlfriend?

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Incognito said...

My Fast makes it hard to have a girlfriend.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Hey Incognito,

We ad people get really touchy about the attempts to relate consumer research to ad effectiveness.

Here's a simple test.

Ask a friend what is their MOST favourite ad running currently. Then, ask them if they bought that product. Let us know what happened next ;-)


12:48 PM  
Anonymous farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Hey Incognito,

Here's an interesting quick test:

1. Pick a friend.
2. Ask what her most favourite current ad is.
3. Ask if she bought that brand after seeing the ad.
4. Prepare to be shocked.

There is a reason why we don't have consumers giving awards for advertising but do have consumers making complains about ads.

Then again, we could say that all of us ad people are consumers too. For that I say but our votes shouldn't count for rating our own ads ;-)

1:12 PM  
Anonymous incognito said...

Not sure i would agree necessarily with that logic Farrukh - I can think of lots of ads that I have loved and would love to buy the brand but can't necessarily.

Also, I think it's unfair for people to assume that people will go out and buy something solely because of an ad they saw. There are so many other factors that affect us.

Here's an interesting twist though. Go to your bathroom/bedroom/living room/garage and see how many brands you HAVE bought that you can RECALL an ad/communication might surprise yourself.

X was already taking the piss with me for buying my lovely GTI (which i still insist is worth every penny) after having 'made friends with my inner Fast'. :)

On a tangent to that - I saw an interesting posting on Russell Davies blog sometime where he observed how many brands he encounters every day in his own bathroom...dozens.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous farrukh: copywriter & blogger said...

Ads work - that's why I am in this profession... funny thing is that the ones that do might not be the ones that people find highly entertaining or the ones that win the creative awards.

Sometimes, real simple ads that convey information quickly and clearly get people to act.

5:53 PM  

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