Are Your Ads Getting Enough Complaints?
Part Three in a Three Part Series
When an ad campaign is producing big results, there will usually be complaints from the public.
When an ad campaign is getting poor results, the public rarely complains.
What makes people hate an ad?
1. It’s hard to ignore.
Any ad that makes its point sharply will be an irritant.
But sharp-pointed ads are also the most effective.
2. It presents a tightly focused perspective.
Any ad that makes assumptions about the experiences of the customer will be judged as presumptive. Persons whose experiences are otherwise usually hate these ads.
But presumptive ads connect powerfully to customers whose personal experiences are accurately mirrored in the ad.
3. It’s given a lot of repetition.
There is such a thing as too much repetition. And the sharper the ad’s point, the less repetition will be required. But “too much repetition” is often the charge that’s leveled against an ad that’s annoying for reasons 1 or 2.
“Hello, I’m a Mac.”
“And I’m a PC.”
Very few people are ambiguous about the “Get a Mac” TV campaign:
“Apple's mean-spirited new ad campaign… Ad Report Card Grade: C+… And isn't smug superiority, no matter how affable and casually dressed, a bit off-putting as a brand strategy?” – Seth Stevenson
“I don’t know about you but I have had about enough of those Mac TV commercials that consistently rip on Microsoft and the PC. Any company that needs to badmouth the competition in an effort to sell their product is a company I don’t want anything to do with.” – ElectroGeek
“The Los Angeles Times has a big article for you about Justin Long, aka the Mac from the 'Get a Mac' ads… [The article goes on to explain that Justin Long is a 'smug little twit.'] Also of note: There are apparently 20 more of these ads in the can, ensuring that everyone will be sick of them eventually.”
– Tim Nudd
“Reporting a $546 million profit on Wednesday, Apple also said that it shipped over 1.6 million Macs representing over 30 percent growth from the year-ago quarter. According to Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, this represents the strongest quarter in the company’s history.” – Jim Dalrymple, reporter
Complain about me all you want. Just leave the 546 million with my butler at the front door.
Are your ads getting complaints? If not, why not?
A: Do you have no sharp points to make?
B: Or are you just afraid to make them?
Turn the poles of a magnet North to South and CLICK, they connect. Turn the poles North to North and they'll repel each other just as powerfully. Advertising, like a magnet, is subject to the Law of Polarity: Your ad’s ability to attract customers cannot exceed its potential to repel.
Most ads aren’t written to make a point sharply. They’re written not to offend.
How are your ads written?
Roy H. Williams
PS – Want to see how much things have changed since 1996?
Occasionally, you'll be attracted or repelled by an ad's style.
“Style” is derived from perspective. See point 2 above.
And one last thing: I said all great ads will get complaints. I did not say all ads that get complaints are great ads.
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