A Call for Advertising Revolution

Honest question. Do we talk about ourselves too much in advertising? Seriously. We all know that this is why people hate commercials of all types. They’re in your face, they waste your time, and they make you tune out.

Let’s take a moment to think about the commercials that people actually talk about. Usually, they’re funny, surprising, or poignant. That doesn’t necessarily make it an effective advertisement though. Anytime someone says “have you seen that ad ... I don’t remember what it’s for but...” somebody has failed. As I’ve said in the past, we’re not here to entertain without purpose. But, can that purpose be earned over time?

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I hate the ordinary. I believe that the “obvious” is lacklustre and ignorable. Nobody ever got ahead by doing what everybody else is doing. So why? Why are we still talking so much about ourselves? That’s what everyone has always done. Is it time to stop? Is it time for someone to stop?

I think so.

No more sales. No more service. No more “we can’t be beat when it comes to...”

Just no.

So... what are we going to do? Firstly, let’s take a look at what real people like today, what they choose to be part of.

Namely, social media. People love sharing. People love personality. People love building relationships when it is easy to do  so. The best marketers in social media have discovered that the key to creating a brand on that platform is through personality. You can’t just tell people about your products or your deals. You need to become more of a friend. Your brand needs to be more like one singular person than a company. Don’t worry about sounding small. People want you to be approachable and interesting. It makes you real and that’s what works.

So, how do we use this strategy in other platforms? A tweet is free. Playing a radio commercial is expensive.

That is completely true, but you shouldn’t let that cost define what you have to say. Your natural reaction is going to be, “I’m paying $XXXXX, I need to tell people that we do this, and this, and this, and it costs this.”

Suppress that feeling. That is not what people listen to. We can thank social media for showing us what people truly respond to. A simple microcosm can be seen in the average Facebook page. I know. The Air Support facebook page is atrocious. All I do is post these articles. That isn’t exactly an open dialogue. But, that is the same experience many businesses have with social media. They open a Facebook page or a Twitter account and say the same dull garbage that they feed out in mass media. And what’s the result? Crickets. No likes. No retweets. Nobody cares.

That’s when businesses quickly decide that social media does not work! It is not for them. This isn’t true. I would argue that it works in the same way that a radio campaign does. You’re just using both of them wrong. If nobody cares when you talk about your products on your twitter stream, nobody cares when you talk about it in your radio message.

So, what can we do?!

Challenge yourself to build something new. Create your brand around one singular identity. Create a voice for your business and start talking. Radio writers always get irritated by phoney two way conversations...

V1: Hey Jim. Killer shoes! Where did you find them?

V2: I found them down at Shoe Warehouse. Did you know they’re having 50% off sale?

V1: I didn’t!

V2: Visit them on 67th street or online at...

...We all know that this is crap. But, giving this same information to an announcer is also crap. It says nothing about your business. So... stop talking about your business. Start talking to your client.

That might mean you barely describe what you do. Impart a personality, a feeling, a sense for your company, and do it consistently. This has to be done every day, and it needs to extend to everything you do.

Give your clientele the respect they deserve. Connect with them on an organic level and they will choose to learn more about you. The greatest thing you can possibly do with your advertising is to build your brand around a feeling.

It’s time for something different. Anybody want to join me?