Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Taking Our Eye off the Road.


I have no axe to grind against Volkswagen.

I like their cars.

And I have no axe to grind regarding a Canadian agency called Taxi.

But I do have an axe to grind against stupidity. 

And the stuntification of advertising.

There's a reason agencies in America and elsewhere have been shunted to the geographical fringes of the cities they're located in. They've been shunted to the marketing fringes of the clients they work for. They've been pushed to the fringes of the executive tables they may no longer sit at. Because they do work that aims not at moving large numbers of people. Instead they do work that appeals to the fringes. Like pay-for-play award shows and industry recognition.

The insipidity above is like so much of what agencies produce nowadays.

It seems wholly oblivious to what's happening in the market. 

Forget about understanding "culture" for a second.

Let's first try to understand people.

Volkswagen Group, which in Canada includes Audi and Porsche is not even in the top ten in Canadian auto sales figures. 

They sell about one-third of what Ford sells. One-third of what GM sells. And about forty-percent of what Toyota sells.

During a down-period for car sales in Canada in general, the Volkswagen Group has about three-percent market share. That means out of every 33 cars sold in Canada, they sell one.

I'd call that "not viable."

If you sold 1/33 of the hamburgers in a town, or 1/33 of the candy bars, or 1/33 of the fezes, you might consider another line of work. Or you might create a five-year plan to get to three cars out of 33, call it ten-percent. Then you have market muscle. And since cars, like nearly everything else have an availability heuristic, more sales means more sales. When people see a car on the road or in a neighbors driveway, they're more apt to drive it.


It really is that simple.

Trying to get PR--ostensibly, I suppose, leading to sales-traction (what's the point of marketing if not sales?) through a third-party car cover that somewhat speciously claims to remove pollutants from the air is like selling bananas based on the recyclability of the little stickers that seem to be placed on every bunch of bananas.

As Rick Blaine might say, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Here's a suggestion for advertisers.

1. Save up your money until you have enough for impact.

2. Create work that amplifies that impact. Spend money on it. Don't use, for instance an amateur voiceover because it's cheap to. That makes you look cheap.

(Impact as in sales and profit.)

3. Run that work to gain more sales.

4. Fund more good work through your increase in sales.

5. Repeat.

I know every agency worth its pixels in Canada and out of Canada has a patented process to "find insights," to "find a strategy," to "produce something for less."

Again, I'll quote Rick Blaine.

None of that amounts to a hill of beans.

Figure out how to sell shit.

Don't fret if it's digital first, performance marketing or brand enhancement. Guess what, you'll survive somehow if you're not agile or a six epsilon green belt. You might even survive a sit-down scrum.

So long as you figure out how to sell shit.

Not car covers.

Not fringes.

Actually things your client went into business to sell.

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