Friday, June 10, 2011

Old, new and now.

My father started in the advertising business almost 60 years ago working in-house for RCA. I believe he was the writer on the commercial pasted above.

Today, "The New York Times" has an article called "Old-Time Torture Tests Resurface on YouTube, and Tablets Take a Licking." The article talks about videos made by a company called Square Trade which sells extended warranties. The videos create torture tests and puts them on YouTube.

I find it instructive to look at old-timey commercials, even those not created by my father. Somehow, despite their crudeness, they were closer to the original purpose of advertising, that is, selling. In many cases, they recreated on film what a door-to-door salesman might do on your stoop.

New media savants, the ones who spout that marketing is dead, don't understand that demonstrations, if they're interesting, truthful and compelling fulfill a basic human need for people to see things with their own eyes. (Chico Marx's line "Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" notwithstanding.)

I'd argue that the great work Apple's done in selling through the years is nothing more than modernized versions of what my father did a lifetime ago.


george tannenbaum said...

That's right, Mike. McCann notwithstanding.

Tore Claesson said...

Advertising is basically just a much more efficient and cheaper way to reach many than having sales people knock on every door. The best salesperson is the one who has the most charm and most believable presentation skills. As Advertising had to become a lot more sophisticated to compete with other ads and other brands filling the same needs it often got diffuse as well. You mention Apple. Steve Jobs and Lee Clow both understand it all better than most.