The Absolute Truth About Marketing
Sunday, December 04, 2005
  AD TRUTH #1: Avoid generic images
This is me, holding the Pitchfork of Absolute Truth. I intend to prick the pretty balloons of illusion or lance the boils of insanity that marketing people suffer from... The first victim is Optus. Ever since I can remember any Optus advertising they have relied upon images of animals - cute penguins and polar bears, etc. The headlines tried valiantly to make the animals relevant to the message. The most recent evolution of this campaign has the animals singing. Clever. Entertaining. Effective?
Only Optus could know... But my experience in the ad game for more than 20 years tells me that, while animals test strongly as a positive, attractive image, they are generic. Anyone can... and does... use them. It wouldn't take long going back thru the archives to find the last time they were used, and the time before that, and the time before that. Optus can't ever own the images because they are everyones'. Therefore it costs a vast amount more to get audiences to register the imagery as being associated with the brand. Any generic image is hard to link in the mind. David Ogilvy's ad "The Man In The Hathaway Shirt" put the model in an eye patch to make the image distinctive. In O&M circles, the term "eyepatch" came to mean a visual hook that linked the brand to the image instantly. Optus not only suffers from animals. It has too many animals. If they focussed on one animal they'd have a better chance of linking the image to the brand. An animated animal is a stronger candidate: look at Louie the Fly. He says Mortein. The animals of the world don't say Optus. They don't sing it, either.
I guess with the animals idea if you have nothing to say its better to sing it!
Ummmm. You don't bring that pitchfork to Melbourne, I trust? It looks pretty handy.
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Make a big mistake and you learn the Absolute Truth. Mistakes are the only teachers. Why not rely on other people's mistakes to avoid making your own? Learn marketing secrets, tips, hints, insider information, strategies, tactics, ideas, plans decoded, and more... Search engine marketing, email marketing, Internet marketing will be added soon.

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