Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mediocre Advertising Won't Drive Sales

Some new ads from Subaru are making the rounds.

Here's one ...

Yes, it gets attention, which is the first rule in advertising.

But does it make me more interested in owning this thing? Or desirous?

My opinion: This is way too clever for its own good.

Does anyone remember when Subaru tried the opposite approach? In 1992, Subaru was like Punk Rock –

... and that didn’t work out so well.

I predict the same fate for the Mediocrity campaign.

This is what happens when funny people who hate to sell are given lots of money and no supervision. Funny people should stick to being funny. Because, when it comes to advertising, humor is a minefield.

Very, very few ads use humor in a way that also sells.

Below is one example. Can you think of any others?

This commercial was produced by Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) in 1969.

Here's the script, which uses words, images and, yes, humor, to actually sell ...
I, Maxwell E Snavely, being of sound mind and body, do hereby bequeath the following:

To my wife Rose, who spent money like there was no tomorrow ... I leave 100 dollars and a calendar.

To my sons Rodney and Victor, who spent every dime I ever gave them on fancy cars and fast women ... I leave 50 dollars, in dimes.

To my business partner Jules, whose only motto was spend, spend, spend ... I leave nothing, nothing, nothing.

And to my other friends and relatives who also never learnt the value of a dollar ... I leave a dollar.

Finally, to my nephew Harold, who oft-times said, “a penny saved is a penny earned”, and who also oft-times said, “Gee Uncle Max, it sure pays to own a Volkswagen” ... I leave my entire fortune of one hundred billion dollars.

(Kevin M. Donlin is author of the Special Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Service Business Owners.)

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