Wednesday, March 08, 2006

10% Away From Familiar

I came across a great quote the other day about advertising.

'People don't read ads, they read what is interesting to them'.

It is so true. That is so right.

People want entertainment or information. The real objective of advertising is to provide these two things. To present options and to make people aware of issues (be it availability of a service, the newest choice on the market, or information on how cigarette butts leech toxins into the soil when discarded)

Needless to say, people are drawn to what is familiar to their lives. If you are a fishing enthusiast a tackle box may catch your eye, if you like to exercise religiously, carb counting may be more your lure, and those who feel badly about themselves often take the bait of the quick fix, be it boil cream, SlimFast or Viagra.

So how does this tie into sustainability advertising?

I've said this time and time again, most people out there - although they would like to be - just don't have as fanatical an interest in sustainability (or advertising) as most of us here (assuming my readers are interested in sustainability advertising).

So, it appears as though we have been using the wrong lures to catch the right fish.

What is the average person out there interested in?

How about The Simpsons?

Diane has a great theory about how people are only comfortable with a 10% change. But that 10% change is what will catch their attention.

So how can we take something ordinary, and familiar, yet slightly changed, just enough to be mesmerizing and then, slowly, use it as a platform to introduce something new? Perhaps we should watch this ad again. It's awesome.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Misleading Advertising

Right now Telus and Rogers are caught up in a lawsuit over an ad that was running last month about a Rabbit and a Leopard in a race. It's actually a pretty amusing ad, where the leopard (Rogers) just eats the rabbit (Telus) before the race begins. Problem is, Rogers claims that they are faster than Telus in the process, or something like that, and bam! the lawyers were called.

I had an ACA Bulletin cross my desk today about some other famous misleading advertising cases. My favourite was how Remington's Micro Screen Ultimate Shaver claimed to be the closest shave. Their claim in the their Canadian advertising was 'Shaves as close as a blade and closer than any other electric shaver...Remington Ultimate tests prove it.". The problem this time was that they only tested the razor against the other leading brands, but not against the remaining 5-10% of the market. Bam! The lawyers were called in again.

Remington did the test again, and sure enough, they were beat out. The ads were pulled, and the words 'any other leading brand' became a part of our everyday vernacular, right up there with 'part of a balanced breakfast' and 'some conditions apply'.