Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I've never been a big fan of Jack Trout.


Jack Trout has always seemed to me to be an absolutist when it comes to advertising. You know, a best practices, Starch kind of guy. If you do this, then that will happen. I've always felt if business can be reduced to an if-then proposition we can all be replaced by software or be out-sourced to Bangalore and that hasn't happened yet, so people who can think, invent, create and act otherwise contrary still have, at least in some precincts, some perceived value.

Now, that said, I agree with Trout's column in this week's Forbes--not necessarily his examples--but his principle that there's more to good advertising than just creating an emotional connection. Read his column here: http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2007/11/26/trout-marketing-emotions-oped-cx_jt_1127trout.html

I've been saying in this space and in my rantings in front of the urinals at any number of agencies, that today every brand follows the same strategy. "I'm cool. Buy me and you will be too." Sometimes that works. But more often, more effective communication appeals to both the heart and the head. Think about meeting a person of your preferred gender (it's ok if you don't have a preferred gender. Ad Aged is a tolerant blog and accepts you for who you are no matter how freaking deviant you may be.) You might, on first blush be attracted to that person's bosoms (as my Yiddeshe mama would say), or her legs, ass or eyes. That might induce you to boink her. But, since most marketers claim they are looking for long-term, lifetime value, sooner or later other things count. Her intelligence. Generosity. Kindness. Ability to make a pie. In other words, there are rational reasons or a rational component of many decisions.

Of course we want to feel emotionally connected to brands. But we want to be rationally connected too.

1 comment:

T said...

Rationally connected is a good one. not everything is emotional. i don't love my Nikes. I respect that they're good gear. I have some faith in the company giving me some okay stuff, even though I know I'm probably paying a premium for the brand and the celebrity endorsements.
now, talking about Trout. I was at a seminar where he spoke.
He stuck to his dogma.
And consequently declared Nike's campaign over the years a failure. He claimed that Just do, never did it. He claimed it should have been something o the lines of "Buy the stuff professional sports people trust".
He never seemed to understand that Just do it, did just that, but in a very clever way, engaging people both emotionally and rationally, and tapping into and fueling a life style trend that was brewing.
that's probably what's wrong with people with theories. They're to darn dry and theoretical.
they don't have enough imagination, and they don't understand what makes people tick and what makes good advertising tickle.