Advertising: You can’t please everybody.


Most season veterans in the advertising industry will understand that even after years of working on ad campaigns and intensive market research/focus groups to perfect your message and creative….you cannot and will not ever create an ad that everyone likes.

Yes, it’s that plain and simple.  I’ll put money down that even commercials popular among you and your friends have gone viral on YouTube with a few dislikes checked off on them.  Advertising in some sense are like pieces of art. They generate opinions both the favorable and unfavorable kind.  Many will receive praise….a lot will have critics.

But it’s surprising to see how many clients will have their agencies work tirelessly to create a flawless piece of advertising that is aimed to appeal to the masses.  Often times I will see them dilute their own creative to try meet every demand they would hear in a focus group or from “unscientific” surveys.  It astounds me of how far out of their way they go to do this.

Granted, I have been in this industry long enough to know the importance of such feedback and research.  Both prove to be invaluable in helping the creative team along in their process.  However, there needs to be a line drawn as to what we processes and what we actually use.  Too much scrutiny results in “analysis paralysis” where we spend a lot of time on the creative but never get it out.

So here are a few things I have observed over the years that clients can take into consideration when they are beginning a new ad campaign.  They can take it for what it’s worth but know this….they are getting an outside observation…which can help when they are tunnel visioned with their own product/service.

  1. Accept the fact that you cannot please everyone with the advertising your agency creates.
  2. Sometimes, being you can’t be helped.  There are just some products & services out there that will appeal to more people.  GAP jeans for example may have wider marketability then say something like depends.  But if you can create a memorable and recognizable ad for a “boring or mundane” product, then your agency has done its job.  In my opinion, Intel has done a great job marketing their products.  To the layman, no one really knows specifically what their stuff does….you sorta just know they had stuff in your computer that makes it run faster.  After they rolled out this campaign, people started to get a better grasp of who they were and what they did.  Here’s one of the spots.
  3. Pay attention to the market research and what you learn in focus groups….but don’t go holding up the train if someone is unhappy with something that shouldn’t affect the overall message or creative.  I’ve witnessed focus groups where people would comment on the way an actor was dressed on the concept boards….it was even more frustrating to have clients spend the money to actually change the actor’s wardrobe on the concept boards!
  4. Focusing on the memorability of your advertising will go a along way.  But just because people remember your ad doesn’t mean they’ll remember the message.
  5. Too many cooks in the kitchen will ruin the pot.  As so with your ads, as I mentioned above diluting your advertising with a lot of minutia and differences of opinions will be harmful to the overall ad.
  6. Your message in your advertising could be loud and clear but the challenge is having people retain that message.  So there needs to be some form of balance.
I’m sure there are many more things that I haven’t thought of but that’s all I’ve got for now and it’s time for me to head out cause it’s rubbish day and I have to cook dinner!  Later!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: