Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Do one thing. And do it well.

Not long ago I worked on advertising for a Swedish automaker. This particular automaker had about $50 million to spend on advertising. Of course they had planned to put the bulk of that in local TV spots.

I recommended that put the entirety in online. Here's why:

Sad to say, if all you have is $50 million to spend on a car account, you don't really have enough to be on TV. Instead of fighting against a crowd, choose something you can do that no one else can.

If your spend will be buried, create a look, or a voice, or find a device that will let you dominate something.

Of late I am working on two launches. The client wants a lot yet has no money. So the agencies produce forty-seven different units and probably present three times that many. The client will buy a few dozen and put just enough money behind each of those units to assure that no one in the market sees anything.

That might be ok. Since it seems that the reason most agencies do work nowadays is so they can post their :32-second spot on Adweek or YouTube.

3 comments: said...

George - maybe it's just that big numbers carry their own mind-numbing magnetism. We see a $100,000,000 US media budget and think "wow, time to make some TV spots for the reel." We don’t stop to think about what that amount of cash buys in the real world.

On the other hand, I’m a great believer in Gossage’s “if you don’t have a bigger hammer, use a sharper nail.” The problem, of course, is that pursuing that path requires the leap of faith that you’ll be able to do something so remarkable it will gain enough viral escape velocity to go where money can’t take it.

Maybe this is the moral of your story: first, to thine own brand be true. Second, to thine own realities, be honest?

george tannenbaum said...

Jef, I knew I liked you.

Susan Ellis said...

I wrote this a few years back when I had my own agency...still apropos it seems:

The Client Meeting
I think it's better if you move this
Just one millimetre,
And if you colour it all pink
T'would look a whole lot sweeter.

And the copy, well, it's pretty good
But will certainly be better
When you cut out all the benefits
And paraphrase this letter.

It came to me by courier
From my boss, the CEO,
It talks about our image
And how we want to grow.

Now let's discuss the media
Your plan is really nice,
But I don't want a Cadillac,
A Chevy will suffice.

And while we're on the topic,
Let's discuss our last campaign.
Can you tell me why it didn't get
The sales we hoped to gain?