Don’t Get Mesmerized: The Purpose of Advertising is to Sell, Not Entertain

We’ve all been there: glued to the screen, captivated by a hilarious commercial, only to realize…we have no idea what they were selling. While entertainment can grab attention, it’s crucial to remember that the true purpose of advertising is to sell, not entertain.

Let’s be clear: entertainment value isn’t inherently wrong. Humor, heartwarming stories, and even a healthy dose of quirkiness can make ads more memorable. But if that entertainment comes at the expense of the core message, it’s a missed opportunity. Here’s why:

1. Distraction Dilution: Captivating with a funny cat video might get you noticed, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to brand recall or product understanding. When the laughter fades, what are viewers left with? The ad hasn’t done its job if they can’t remember the product or its benefits.

2. Emotional Hijacking: Tugging at heartstrings can evoke positive emotions, but those emotions need to be directed towards the product. If the ad’s emotional core has nothing to do with the brand’s offering, it’s manipulative, not persuasive.

3. The “So What?” Factor: Entertainment without substance leaves viewers asking, “So what?” They might remember the ad but not why it matters. Effective advertising connects the emotional experience to the product’s value proposition, leaving a clear and actionable message.

Remember: While a touch of entertainment can enhance recall, it should never overshadow the core objective: to sell. Here are some critical considerations for advertisers:

  • Start with the product: What are its unique selling points? How can they be communicated clearly and concisely?

  • Target your audience: Understand their needs, wants, and pain points. Craft a message that resonates with them.

  • Balance emotion and reason: Appeal to viewers’ hearts, but don’t forget to inform their minds. Show them why the product matters.

  • Track and measure: Don’t be fooled by vanity metrics like views or shares. Track conversions and sales to see if your ad is truly driving results.

Ultimately, effective advertising is a delicate dance. It can be engaging and emotional, but it must never lose sight of its core purpose: selling. By keeping this focus clear, advertisers can create campaigns that entertain and drive meaningful results.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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