101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising by Bob Hoffman

Marketers seem resolutely attached to the belief that technological advances always lead to large-scale disruptions in consumer behavior.

Many have a hard time understanding that “we answer on the first ring” is a more powerful promise than “world class service.” They don’t believe that “50 dollars off” is a stronger motivator than “we’ll make your dreams come true.”

The more specific the promise, the more salient the proposition.

I can’t prove it, but I’ll bet you $10 that the primary reason people become “friends” or “followers” of brands on Facebook and Twitter is not to have a conversation with the marketer, but to get a discount, a special offer, a deal, or some other form of insider information or advantage. It’s the same reason they join a frequent flier plan. They don’t want a relationship with a baggage handler; they want a free flight to Hawaii.

have no fucking idea how real people in the real world have to wash floors, change diapers, struggle to make payments on their refrigerators and don’t spend all day having fucking conversations about fucking brands with their fucking “followers” on fucking Twitter. And one more thing. I may have a float in the pomposity parade but, dude, you’re the grand marshall.

When consumers are exposed to it, they will tell you it’s a good idea. But what they can never tell you is whether it’s a good enough idea to eclipse the inertia of their habits.

“Top-down” advertising is easy to identify. It usually has happy, generic people doing happy generic things while music plays and voices either sing or speak. There is little to nothing said about the specifics of what they do or make. It is full of promises and hopefulness. It tries to convince you that, heck, they’re people, too, and you really ought to like them.

we don’t get them to try our product by convincing them to love our brand. We get them to love our brand by convincing them to try our product.

A discipline with no principles is not a discipline — it’s an amusement.

Advertising is a nuisance. Always has been, always will be. That’s why we get the big bucks — to make people pay attention to stuff they’re trying desperately to avoid.

Advertising that is really good gives you a reason to prefer a product when there is no reason.

Advertisements