Constantly thinking up smart ways to try to convince people your product is great is exhausting for brands, agencies… and consumers. But there is another way, says Alex Smith, Planning Director at real world marketing agency Sense.
Hard to believe sometimes, but advertising is actually a service.
That sounds hopelessly quaint doesn’t it? In between agencies’ fantasies of working in the entertainment industry, and brands’ desire for ever higher profits, we sometimes forget the silent partner at the table – the humble consumer.
For them, advertising is not where they turn for whimsy and ‘engagement’ (believe it or not, there’s actually a whole media industry out there devoted to just that, and which doesn’t have to flog products while they do so), and they also couldn’t give a hoot how healthy ‘x’ company’s bank balance is. Their needs are more simple: “Inform me of the things out there that will enrich my life.”
Creating ‘service’ ads the achieve this – ads that people find useful – is quite tricky to deliver, however, for the simple reason that by definition they require a product that people actually need or want.
Take for example a concert or festival poster: