Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Advertising thoughts from Erwin Rommel.

One of the basic principles of military strategy is the idea of concentrating your forces. That is, if you are spread thinly everywhere, you can advance nowhere or hold nothing.

Wellington believed this and accordingly won the Peninsula Campaign against superior Napoleonic forces. Rommel certainly believed it and until the war turned and the Allies learned, he had his way in North Africa.

Monty defeated Rommel by using his own thinking. He concentrated massive amounts of his forces at the decisive point in battle.

Where we don't stick to this idea, of course, is advertising. Agencies and clients would rather be mediocre at many things (for fear of missing out on something) than strong on a few things.

Apple, whom we spend so much time wishing we were like, does things the right way. They concentrate their forces on great TV commercials and great print ads.

In the 30 or so years they've been in business, I doubt that Apple marketing people have ever sat in a boardroom and gone over 72 Facebook posts that no one will ever read chasing the spurious dream of engagement.

I've never gotten an Apple tweet. Or heard an Apple radio commercial.

Again, this is pretty simple.

They concentrate their forces.

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