Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Advertising Advice

You know what they say about free advice - it's worth every penny you paid for it. That said, I'm going to dispense some free advertising advice, which you can choose to ignore or heed. I do have some training and experience with advertising so I'm not just blathering with no background.

Here's the advice. Do NOT make your children or grandchildren the stars of your commercials if you really want to get across some message. And, by the way, getting across a message is generally the reason for advertising.

I just watched a TV commercial for something - I can't recall what, which is a big problem - where two girls were singing some unintelligible song that had nothing to do with anything as far as I could tell. They were cute, but they were not star singers. Unless you're raising the next LeAnn Rimes, please, resist.

If you feel a need to include your children and grandchildren, question that. If you just can't stop yourself, make them extras in the commercial. If you just cannot control your urge to have them front and center, try to have them doing or saying something that is central to the product or service you're trying to sell.

Okay, that's it. Do as you wish, of course. But consider why you're spending that advertising money - is it to increase sales/awareness or to give a perk to the children in your life? They are not necessarily compatible.
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Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more!! I think I know the commercial you're referring to and personally, I can't understand what they're saying. Why spend advertising dollars for that? It's great they love their kids or grandkids, but not everybody does!! Sure glad you said it!

Patsy Terrell said...

It is almost always a big waste of advertising dollars and the "professionals" who don't advise against it are doing a disservice to their clients.

Anonymous said...

Joplin, Missouri is the absolute worst for this. It seems every other TV ad has the store's kids being oh-so-cute. Maybe it's the owner's way of saving money on talent.

There may be a more subtle reason at work: the desire to get the audience to identify with and to trust you. "He has kids. He must be one of us. I'll buy my next refrigerator from him."

In defense of the "professionals," it's possible they did advise against it. But unless it's illegal or unethical, they have the responsibility to do as the client wants. If after you try to talk him out of it, he still demands stupid, you give him stupid.

Patsy Terrell said...

I feel the pain of people who advise against stupidity, only to be ignored. I've been in that situation before and you're right. Sometimes you gotta give 'em stupid.