Jerry Seinfeld hit out at the advertising industry while giving an acceptance speech at the Clio Awards last month. Oh, the irony. I personally thought it was a case of ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ but Seinfeld does raise some relevant points.
His main issues – the industry lies about the products it sells (‘spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy’), is obsessed with awards is about ‘phony careers and meaningless lives’. See the video or read the transcript here. The Denver Egotist carried an interesting editorial on it recently. There was a response to that rebuttal too – all good reads.
If there is a ‘Christmas advert war’ in UK (at least it feels like it), the hands down winner in my book is Mulberry. Primary reason: when the world zigged, they zagged. When everyone else was going the ‘tugging at the heartstrings’ emotional route, Mulberry chose humour.
I remember an early lesson from my ex-boss about charity advertising: ask for a specific amount. Instead of saying ‘donate generously’ asking for a specific amount has a better chance of getting a donation. Second, make the response mechanism easy. In advertising, I grew up in the print era where the coupon was a powerful call to action. And the coupons typically were ‘design elements’ which the Art Director wanted to hide or tuck away in some corner. Coupons, I learnt the hard way, should ideally be placed in the right hand bottom corner at the edge of the paper, so as to be cut out easily. I have seen ads with coupons in an island position in a newspaper, taking away any chance of a response. In any case, filling such coupons with relevant details of full name, address was near impossible.
We all have brand preferences – that intangible feeling of loving a brand so as to prefer it over competing brands in that category. Usually, such a preference evolves as a result of a lot of things the brand does, not just one. It could be a combination of things – the brand name, the logo, the messaging (advertising, PR), the activities a brand initiates or gets involved in and so on. But most commonly it is attributed to the quality of advertising – the core message and how it is executed. Airbnb’s latest advert on the occasion of the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is one such.
Got to love advertising wars, especially the competitive ads executed with class. A new campaign for Jaguar 550hp F-TYPE R Coupe caught my eye – without saying a word they have poked fun at the competition. Loved it.
Agency: Y&R, Toronto. Via.
Speaking of competitive ads done well, check out what Bentley did in a fight between Audi & BMW.