We came across this blog article on Brand Republic by Bill Trott titled ‘Advertising Doesn’t Sell Stuff’
I always loved Bill Berbach’s advertising for the VW Beetle.
But I never bought one.
I loved John Webster’s Honey Monster advertising.
But I never ate Sugar Puffs.
I also loved John’s advertising the Guardian.
But I never bought it.
I loved David Abbott’s advertising for The Economist.
But I never read it.
I loved Saatchi’s advertising for The Conservatives.
But I never voted for them.
I loved Trevor Beattie’s ad for Wonderbra.
But I never wore one.
I loved Terry Lovelock’s ads for Heineken.
But I never drank it.
I liked Alex Taylor’s ads for The Army.
But I never joined it.
(More on http://community.brandrepublic.com/blogs/dtb/archive/2010/03/09/advertising-doesn-t-sell-stuff.aspx)
It sounds as though Bill is arguing that advertising is ineffective, far from it. He is just saying that advertising is only one part of a process that makes one person or organisation buy a particular product or service- on this we think he is totally right. We have all heard the clichés of how need, greed and fear drive all our actions, and certainly there are a lot of people that think advertising is the root of all evil, creating an immediate desire to buy products that are harmful or dangerous to our health. Advertising in itself is not harmful, we live in a world that depends on transactions and those that sell services or products that are genuinely useful have to have a voice in the marketplace and build awareness like any other- whether some products or services are harmful should be the question we ask, not whether we advertise them. . We think Bill is being a bit controversial when he says advertising doesn’t work, of course if you run one ad people aren’t going to immediately drone like rush out to buy your service, but if you recognise advertising is one part of the jigsaw that allows people that have a potential need or desire for a product to be aware of this option and the benefits that it offers, then advertising can give you a huge competitive advantage.