Advertising: the perfect cure for insomnia?

We happened across this comment from a few years back, on someone else’s blog.

When I am having trouble sleeping, I go and surf websites from a single industry. I get so bored from seeing the same tired pictures and phrasing, I can barely keep my eyes open. Today’s marketers have such wonderful and creative tools at their disposal, and yet they use a fraction of the resources available. Most business videos are sure to get you snoring after 20 seconds. Breakthrough marketers understand that they are entertainers first. They use the entire palette of colour to delight the potential customer. Most people want to have fun whenever they can, so give them the chance, and they are sure to come back to you more often.

There’s some real, world-changing wisdom, right there. We used to have a phrase in our MOP credentials that read: “No one was ever bored into buying anything.”

boredomBut sadly we came to realise that’s not true. We now know from research that continual repetition of incredibly simple messages can drill them into our heads so that they affect our buying behaviour even while they’re boring us stiff. Make us instinctively pick up one brand in a  supermarket as opposed to another, for example, when all else appears to be equal.

But what we do know is that it’s a hundred times better, in terms of creating true brand preference, to make our advertising compelling, inherently interesting, and – yes – entertaining, in the truest, broadest meaning of that word.

One really good way to judge how you’re doing at differentiating your business is to ask someone to gather together all the print ads from your industry segment, and then cut the logo off them. (Which is usually quite easy, as the logo is usually in the bottom right hand corner of the page.)

Look at the ads. Would an unbiased, un-prepared reader really know which was yours? Or do you look exactly like your competitors? Be brutally frank with yourself.

A classic example is bank ads and ads for financial services generally like investments and insurance. 80% or more could run someone else’s logo on the bottom and they’d work just as well. Or just as badly. Which is really to say, not at all.

MOP logoBrand differentiation is the very life essence of a winning brand. You have to be differentiated, or how will people ever navigate their way to you?

If you’re worried that your brand is stuck in mediocre-land, give us a call. Or if you’re not quite ready to do that, have a browse through the case histories and philosophy on our new website, Questions very welcome.

Author: Stephen Yolland

Director of Creative Strategy and Partner @ Magnum Opus Partners.

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