Friday, September 21, 2007
Just before I bugger off/stop thinking advertising related thoughts for the week, I thought I should have a bit of a rant and a pontification about the nature of products and services.
Recently, this blog has seemed concerned with advertising's purpose and future. Well, I'm afraid this post isn't going to be massively different (but don't worry, mindless nonsense and some news is coming soon...honest).
I believe in the power of advertising. I think, if used well, it can tell stories which can irrevocably change the fortunes of people, yellow fats and more besides. And, I think there'll always be a place for this.
Sadly, what it can't do is change what people, products et al are. If your product is crap, if your customer service is poor - yeah, you'll be found out, and buggered. Especially nowadays. I can, for example, write a blog account of just what good customer service I've had from 3 mobile - especially if I seed it well - it'll (hopefully) impact on someone's purchasing decision.
No amount of advertising, PR or otherwise can turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. It's certainly possible to take an average product, throw loads of cash at a comms solution, but advertising can't do it alone.
It's why I'm so fond of Richard's way of writing brand positionings, because it has its roots in some form of brand truth - you cannot lie; your brand promise has to be rooted in some kind of truth. If it isn't, first of all it's sloppy planning, and secondly, it's downright lies.
I'd be mortified if any kind of planner got sucked into believing the hype around the product or service. Planners should never be too in love with any brand they work on - cold hard objectivity is the order of the day, along with the ability to be a (I heard this the other day) 'culture prostitute', keen to lever in just whatever works with the brand. Just not outright lies.