It has been said that the average American is bombarded by more than 2,000 advertising messages each day. Television advertising, in particular, struggles to break-through the clutter.The Super Bowl has become an annual showcase of advertising. Today’s media-savvy consumers pay attention to advertising that is interesting and relevant to them. As a marketing manager, you might enjoy playing The Advertising Home Game. The game is played with any number of viewers. It requires only an audience willing to forego trips to fridge during commercial breaks.
Here’s how it works. Kick back in
front of the tube. Schedule viewing of your favorite TV show, sporting event,
the evening news or favorite soap opera. As each commercial is shown evaluate, quickly:
What it’s about? Is it relevant? Is it persuasive? Is it interesting? What was
the brand? What was the message or key point? (No fair paying it back. In this game, the rules require you see the spots as they appear in progaming.) You may find this a difficult
task. Just as you are studying a :30 spot, another comes on to entertain and inform
you about yet a different product. If you are playing this game with others you
may be drawn into conversations that cause you to miss the next commercial.
Save your comments. Takes notes if you wish. Don’t allow yourself the cop-out
of, “This commercial is not for me because I’m not the target.” Maybe you’re
right, but by virtue of your program selection, you are in the audience and among
the viewers. In this environment, you begin to
appreciate how difficult it truly is to communicate. By forcing yourself to sit
through the advertising and try to understand its mission, you suddenly become keenly aware of the challenges you and your
advertising agency face when you set out to develop television advertising, or
any advertising. It’s just a game. But in real life you need to be considerate of
your prospective consumers. Remind yourself to deliver relevant, interesting,
engaging, memorable, messages. The kinds of messages that outscore others in
your home game contain clues to ways that you can be more effective at
communicating with your intended viewers and readers.
The Advertising Home Game
advanced version takes this process one or two steps further with additional
questions. Why in the world did the client agree to that advertising? What was
the creative strategy? Did the client get what the agency presented in
concept form? Is this campaign going to accomplish its goals?
Not everyone is as lucky as Ralph and Alice, the central characters in the classic TV series, The Honeymooners. Ralph is always hopeful that one of his schemes will result in a big break and good fortune. But the simple exchange between this couple is so sweet you can’t help but smile. And what does this tell us?
The self-effacing Ralph and the simple expression of affection between the bus driver and his wife remind us of how often we all take loved ones for granted. Life is a struggle for most of us. We tend to get preoccupied with the trials and challenges of everyday living. We dream of something that will improve our lives. We strive to earn more money. We focus a great deal of energy on our surroundings and our possessions.
If you are lucky enough to have someone who puts up with your shortcomings and nevertheless offers true love that manifests itself in the form of a thousand acts of kindness and understanding, especially through tough times and hardships, you need to stop and thank them. But if you are at all like me (or Ralph), the words just don’t allow you to fully express how you really feel.
Nobody’s perfect, of course. And it’s the differences in people that make the beautiful tapestry that is nature of the world. Somehow we found each other and sometimes, like Ralph, I cannot believe my good fortune. We were married more than 30 years ago. At this point I really don’t want to wait a whole year to celebrate that day when we exchanged vows to love honor and obey. Lately, I think about it almost every day. How lucky and blessed we truly are.
Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary. Baby, you’re the greatest.
Optimist contributor Wes Morgan: Originlly posted March 2011