Tuesday, 26 January 2010

In defence of advertising

Everyone who works in the same industry as me gets trapped in a certain kind of conversation from time to time.

Someone is likely to say ‘so tell me does advertising really work?’
This is often based on their notion that the ad they have just seen on TV for Toilet Duck doesn’t make them want to run to the shop to buy Toilet Duck.

It is a pretty stupid question, I mean come on!
Are the billions of pounds spent on advertising each year a complete waste?

Not everyone is aware or even interested in the psychological impact of advertising, and what leads you on your journey to choice. Those who work in advertising are not immune to its effects, although we may be more aware. Doing my shopping online has led to me spending hours in store (when I do a ‘live shop’) looking at offers, the position of products and trying to work out what Tesco wants me to buy.

The real issue is that people think being affected by advertising makes them stupid. That guidance in a world of this much choice is not necessary, and that everything can genuinely be judged on value.

Just remember, next time someone asks you whether advertising works, don’t get caught out. Unless you construct the most succinct and convincing answer you aren’t getting out of the conversation without looking silly.