Advertising Is Still Not Dead, It’s Now Multiplying – Guest Post from Jim Joseph, President North America at Cohn & Wolfe
Not too long ago, there was a time when everyone was saying that advertising was dead. Having been a client-side CPG marketer and then running several “kinds” of agencies (including advertising), I was never a proponent of that view. Quite the contrary, advertising is still one of the best ways to express a brand’s essence, IMHO.
While I have been saying, “advertising is not dead,” I have also been saying, “advertising needs to change.” Gone are the days when a brand can have an advertising campaign with a massive media budget spread across day parts and conclude that it will reach its goals.
So while advertising may not be dead, it does need to recognize its role in the marketing mix and embrace a fundamental consumer behavior change.
The total brand experience. We need to be thinking less about how advertising can build brand equity and more about how advertising can work with other vehicles to build a total brand experience. We should be investigating how advertising can build retail/web traffic and/or how it can drive social dialogue to complete an experience that doesn’t just create trial, but builds delight and fosters sharing. It’s the total brand experience that motivates and shares, not just a one-off interaction during a television show, as was typical with “old school” advertising.
Advertising is alive and well when integrated into all of the marketing elements as consumers feel a united front and a totally consistent experience. Advertising plays a vital role in that complete experience, just not as a separate silo’d element.
Multiple screens. If you think about advertising as “appointment” television only, then I may agree with you that it’s dying a tragic death. But if instead you consider advertising in a more broad behavioral way, then it’s alive and kicking … dare I say thriving.
While viewership on the traditional tube may be down, watching commercial video on multiple screens is booming in response to how consumers are living their “on-demand” lives. So get off the wall and into the hands of your consumers and you’ll see that advertising is quite effective.
I’m not just talking about handheld mobile devices here. Think of all the touch-points throughout the day when you can see a video advertising message, on your own terms. At the gym, in the elevator, online, outdoor, in a taxi, and yes even in your living room … opportunities to project a video advertising message are much more broad spectrum and have become almost endless. Because these touch-points intersect consumers as they are living their lives, they stand a much better chance of stimulating action as fans click over to a social media platform, register a comment, order a show, or walk into a retail store.
Nike just released a new campaign called “Run to You,” which actually debuted on YouTube as a two-minute video. It got almost instant engagement and buzz (and a lot of dialogue) with an inspiring message to get people go running. I’ve also seen the video in smaller bites in other venues as well … an effective use of a well-produced marketing asset, spreading the word to potential buyers (old and new) across multiple screens.
There I said it: advertising is not dead, and it never was. Like all of marketing, it’s merely changing as consumers tell us the best ways (if we are listening) to get into their lives and to add value to them, across many dimensions.
When it comes to your brand and its advertising, I always like to ask, “What’s Your Experience?”
About the Author: Jim Joseph serves as the President of Cohn & Wolfe North America, the agency’s largest region. With over 25 years of integrated marketing, public relations and branding experience, Jim provides strategic oversight, client service and drives new business across all offices in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. He has created seamless brand experiences for clients such as Kellogg’s, Kraft, Ikea, Cadillac, Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, Clean & Clear, American Express and WalMart.
Known for his expertise in brand and integrated marketing, Jim’s first book – The Experience Effect – delivered a critically acclaimed, straightforward volume of marketing advice that showed big business how to build the ultimate brand experience. Now, in his second book, he takes that big brand theory and applies it to the backbone of the American economy, small business, in The Experience Effect for Small Business.
Prior to joining Cohn & Wolfe, Jim served as President and Partner of Lippe Taylor, where he led the agency in marketing to women for clients like Nestle and David’s Bridal. Jim re-engineered Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, where he led the transformation of the agency from a traditional pharmaceutical advertising model to an award-winning, full-spectrum health and wellness marketing agency. Jim also established and grew his own marketing services agency (CPPartners), which sold to Publicis in 2002.
Jim is a daily blogger about marketing and teaches two intensive marketing classes at New York University, the first now in its fourth semester. He is a graduate of Cornell University and also received an MBA from Columbia University. In his spare time, when not working with his team, blogging or spending time with his family, you can find Jim running along the Hudson River with Lady Gaga in ear!