Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Play the Advertising Home Game

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?

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