Friday, January 22, 2010

Maybe now we'll get some good advertising.

Now that the Supreme Court has struck down a centuries-old law limiting the money corporations and unions can spend on political advertising, maybe we'll get some good political commercials.

Here's what I mean vis a vis advertising.

Almost 50 years ago, Robert Townsend was CEO of Avis Rental Car. He went to Bill Bernbach with this one sentence brief: "My competition has five times the money I have. Five times the cars. Five times the counters. Five times the people. So, how do I get advertising that's five times as effective?"

Five times as effective.

In nearly every marketing scenario there is a client who like Avis is being severely out-spent. Seldom does anyone consider the sentence I've bolded above. Instead they "compete" by imitating.

Imitation is the sincerest form of camouflage. If you're being out-spent, you have one course of action: out-think.


Graham Strong said...

"Imitation is the sincerest form of camouflage."

That's perfect! You sir have just coined a phrase...


Kelly said...


Agreed, but I believe that the Supreme Court outlawed thinking in politics in 2000. So money's the only sledgehammer left in their ol' kit bags.

(And like Graham said. The way you can come up with those witty, thought-provoking zingers... you oughta be in advertising or something. Mmhm.)



Tina said...

i guess the trick in advertising now is to be the first to have idea that everyone copies, but only a client with vision and conviction will approve something different.

Todd Smith said...

good thinking. competition is never really a threat to our own creativity is it?