Stop the insanity: TV ads are supposed to sell products

QUICK READ (By Larry Light CEO of Arcature brand consultancy focused on growing brand value)

  • Marketers are confusing “clicks and listens” to buying.
  •  Just because a commercial garner’s views does not mean there is brand impact.
  • Capturing impressions is not the same as creating an impact. An impression is just a media unit. It has a cost. It can be viewed or heard. But viewing is not a substitute or synonym for impact.
  • Only about 25% of this year’s Cannes Lion award-winning ads provided actual brand impact meaning the ads did not effectively generate brand sales.
  • Loving an ad is not the same as buying a brand. 

Here we are again. The NFL playoffs and TV ads that may make us laugh but don’t generate sales. Once again ad agency Steven Spielberg wannabes are convincing clients that consumers sharing ads is a great metric. It isn’t. I mean are people really going to try BudLight seltzer based on a TV ad?

Marketers are focusing on the wrong measurements. Metrics are important. Of course, we want to know all about our potential customers. We want to know their habits, opinions, interests, attitudes, demographics and their perceptions of our brands. But, these types of tools are not enough. What about the tools that point us towards building brands for enduring profitable growth? 

What really upset me was this “only about 25% of this year’s Cannes Lion award-winning ads provided actual brand impact meaning the ads did not effectively generate brand sales“. Every year the ad industry takes a company-paid vacation in Cannes to pat themselves on the back while marketing executives are trying to show that their commercials were worth the money. This insanity has to stop.

I have been quick to point out to clients that while they brag about website traffic their bounce rates and time on site are pathetic. TV ads have to drive sales and if you’re spending $5-$8 million on a Super Bowl spot you had better see a spike in sales rather than be listed as a top commercial by USA Today.

I keep seeing articles on why ad agencies are in trouble but the biggest reason is that most fail the basic objective of advertising; sell a product. I may be aware and even like the new Dorito’s spot but I am not about to buy the product anytime soon.

Stop the insanity: TV ads are supposed to sell products

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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