Jag xk150

Advertising gets a lot of bad press, TV, radio, magazines, the backbone of advertising all last century have been supplanted by various digital platforms that accepts and places advertising, supposedly direct to a highly targeted audience, when they are looking for something.

Or do they?

Digital advertising has largely failed to live up to the hype, even while advertisers throw up to 50% of their budgets at it, and are often being at best gamed, at worst, ripped off.

Over a long period, I have found that whilst the tools of marketing have changed radically, the behaviour that drives those who use the tools, consumers,  has not. This is a true now post digital, as it was when TV was the new bloke on the block.

 A letter written by Bill Bernback in 1952 to the owners of Grey advertising worrying that the technicians were taking over from the “creatives” .

Great stuff.

Bill Bernbach’s contemporary  David Ogilvy had a lot to say, his book “Confessions of an Advertising Man”  first published in 1963 has a prominent place on my shelf. Even as the nature and mediums of advertising have changed completely, the foundations remain the same. Five of Davids “Ogilvayisms”  have been put into Don Drapers mouth, and they all still hold true. 

Great advertising still needs to tell a story that gets into your head somehow.

In a world bombarded by messages of all types, our visual and audio senses are grossly overworked, so how good it is on the very rare occasions when you see an ad that also engages our emotions to tell a story? This Guiness advertisement is such a piece of communication, an ad that tells a story, engages, brings a smile, and says something memorable, important about us and the brand. 

As good as the Guiness ad is, I still think this Union Carbide ad for insulation is the best ad I have ever seen, and it comes from the 60’s by a company that did not survive its own stupidity.