Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Is this the greatest ad of all time?

There are a lot of ways to look at advertising. Ninety-nine out of one hundred of them are dead wrong.

Blowhards of nearly every stripe ramble on about advertising on nearly every channel. Holding Company CEOs prattle on about customization, programmatic, data acuity and, of course, borderless creativity.

It goes on and on. Just turn on the tube and watch what's sent your way. Commercial after commercial extolling how great this brand or that brand is. Avalanches of arrogance. Paroxysms of pomposity. An operatic egotism that sings ME ME ME instead of you you you. A you based on your needs, on empathy, not pandering.

What has been forgotten along the way is who brands are in business for. 

Carl Ally used to say that "advertising should afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted." You can argue with that all you like. But at least one thing in it is vital. Advertising isn't about the speaker, it's about the viewer. How the brand/company/product/service/promise/whatever serves you.

Why should I care? 

Not to be or not to be.

That is the advertising question. 

The question every client, every agency big wig, every holding company mogul, every planner, every creative must keep as a frontlet before her eyes. If the viewer doesn't care, your message doesn't matter. 

Our role of ad people isn't to be the "voice of the brand." It's to be the "champion of the viewer." Helping him or her see the benefits and efficacy of what you're advertising.

A lot of this may be moot now.

America's economic model, like its political framework, is monopoly or oligopoly based. Competition for most of what we buy has all but vanished.

We get our cable from just one company. We have a choice or three phone carriers. Four airlines. Four banks. Two political parties. 

With no real competition, no one really has to give a shit about anything but maximizing their own profit. I'd love to not have my cable through xFinity. I'd love never to have to fly on United or American or Delta. I'd love to not use Verizon, AT&T or Sprint. But there is really no alternative.

Same with the modern agency "ecosystem." Many potential clients seem to believe that have just three choices or four. Service, pricing, quality is all pretty much the same--miserable. And who cares anyway.

Read the copy in the ad above. 

I'll type it out for you, so you can keep it on your hard-drive. I'm not changing a word, not even a linebreak. I'm arrogant but not that arrogant.

If I were a CEO, I'd send this to my CMO and say, "We're doing it wrong." 

If I were a CMO, I'd sent this to my ad agency and say "We're doing it wrong." 

If I were a potential client, I'd call GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company and say, "We're doing it wrong. Can you help us right things?"

In other words, what's our promise to people. How can we help you? What can we do for you? Why should you care?

Advertising needs to do two things to really be effective. It has to connect with people. They have to care and believe you care about them. And it has to provide truth.

That's why you should care. 


Avis needs you.
You don't need Avis.
Avis never forgets this.

"We're still a little hungry.

We're only No. 2 in rent a cars.

Customers aren't a dime a dozen
to us.

Sometimes, when business is too
good, they get the short end and aren't
treated like customers anymore.

Wouldn't you like the novel experience of walking 
up to a counter and not feel you're bothering somebody?

Try it.

Come to the Avis counter and rent a new, lively super-
torque Ford. Avis is only No. 2 in rent a cars. So we have
to try harder to make our customers feel like customers.

Our counters all have two sides.

And we know which side our bread is buttered on.



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