Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Someone, I don't know who, once said that all of Western literature consists of basically seven plots. I know for a fact that there are about seven jokes in the world with variations, all of them told one summer evening by my cousin Slappy Schlesinger at a resort in the Catskills.
By the same reductio ad absurdum I have come to believe that there need be only seven or so briefs for the entire ad industry. Nothing should come to be more complicated than this.
Problem 1: Nobody knows who we are.
Brief: Create advertising that tells people who we are.
Problem 2: Nobody knows what we sell.
Brief: Create advertising that explains what we sell and how it helps.
Problem 3: We are being vastly outspent by much larger competitors.
Brief: Create advertising that gets at least as much attention as said much larger competitors.
Problem 4: We sell, essentially, a parity product. A product with no point of difference.
Brief: Create advertising that differentiates the company as superior.
Problem 5: We are in a low-interest category.
Brief: Do something interesting.
Problem 6: Nobody knows how to use what we make or what it's for.
Brief: Create advertising that demonstrates the products.
Problem 7: My product is hard to get, so people don't try it.
Brief: Create advertising that makes the product easier to get.
My point, I hope, is so simple a CEO could understand it. Advertising is all about making things simple. Lowering barriers. And making brands likeable. There is not much more to it.
Unless you hire entire marketing departments and agencies who need to complicate.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 8:25 AM