Sunday, March 22, 2009

The same old story.

Advertising is dead, or is about to die. You hear this line about as many times as: Where else can this idea go? Which might actually be the problem. I came across this article on the death of advertising. Its a long read but has the same familiar elements:

1. Consumers don't care.
2. Ads are ineffective.
3. Traditional ads are disappearing.
4. Advertising hasn't figure out the web.

All are true. And a lot of what we hear here is that we are the link between old and new. The generation that will create new advertising and banish the evil static banner for all time! But the truth is it isn't dead, and it never will be. The falloff in advertising in my mind comes from one simple idea:

The loss of added value.

In the 1950's advertising brought new time saving, money saving products into peoples minds for the first time. Who wouldn't want to save an hour cleaning their bathroom with new Dial? But now, we know. Soap cleans, saves time, got it. Get back to the show already! We're saturated in information and actually get to search and choose which we want to listen to or not.

So how does modern advertising tackle this problem? Added value. Product benefits, value propositions, history and other traditional advertising virtues are dead. People know more about your products than most of the people using them. You need to add value. Very few clients do this.

Nike lets you compete with runners around the world.
Apple gives you access to a world of music from anywhere.
HBO gives you TV you wouldn't see anywhere else.

What the hell does soap add? Or gum? Or banks for that matter? Give me something I have never had from you: Added value.

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