• Traditional advertising is not "dead."
Traditional advertising channels (like Cable TV, OOH, and Radio), and traditional advertising models (ads as we've always known them) are still the most effective way to grow your brand long-term.
This is diametrically opposed to the claims that "authentic engagement with audiences" and Permission Marketing tactics endorsed by gurus like Seth Godin, are the future of advertising.
• The Persuasion Model of Advertising is outdated.
Most consumers, in most situations, are effected by advertising unconsciously or with very low levels of mental involvement. They aren't consciously persuaded by ads, and then converted into buyers.
• For an ad to be maximally effective, regardless of channel, it must be:
1. Well branded from beginning to end. This is achieved by leveraging distinctive design (primarily audio and visuals. I.e. logos, colors, jingles, distinctive voiceovers, distinctive package shapes, characters, spoken tag lines, etc.)
Recently, advertisers have begun hiding their brands or teasing them out until the very end of an ad in an attempt to hide the fact that they are advertising to you.
Audiences don't pay enough attention to ads to follow complicated storylines or learn about your values, they simply look up to see which brand is being advertised, and then ignore the rest of the ad.
Without obvious branding throughout, that split-second attention is wasted. A well branded ad with low mental involvement from the viewer can be more than enough to influence purchase behavior over time.
2. Consistent over long periods of time (6 months at least). Audiences need to be consistently reminded you exist. Quantity always trumps quality with advertising (as long as your ad is well branded).
3. Creative enough to get the viewer's attention (even if for a second or two, and sometimes even peripherally). While this isn't necessary, it will help your ad to be more effective.
Creative doesn't have to mean likable (although it helps), it can simply mean novel. Many people hate Flo from Progressive, but like it or not, she can still influence you to buy Progressive insurance. Just make sure you don't isolate a large chunk of your customer base with too novel an ad.
4. Targeted to all buyers of the category. You can't afford to isolate non-buyers and light buyers, who are the reason for advertising in the first place.
• Advertising channels with the largest reach (dependent upon budget) must be prioritized first. For most categories, this is still TV, OOH, Radio, and Print.
Low-reach, online advertising is riddled with issues like ad fraud, dishonest digital marketing agencies, inflated and useless metrics, and more.
Mass media costs more up front, but gives you the highest ROI both short-term and long-term. Advertising is the long game.
• Ads can still effect us without us noticing them.
This is because our brains can process ads with our peripheral attention (especially if distinctive design is involved), form memories, and store those memories long-term with very low levels of mental involvement.
Even if we are looking down at our phone during a TV ad, or quickly scrolling through an ad in our newsfeed, we are still processing that ad unconsciously as long as the ad is well branded. If distinctive audio is involved in TV ads, we can process that ad without even being in the room.
• Fewer, spaced out ads, are better than quick bursts of ads and then silence.
The goal of most advertising is to remind consumers you exist so that you can breed familiarity with your brand. This is because of a bias called the Availability Bias, which is our tendency to gravitate toward the familiar when making decisions.
Consumers gravitate toward the freshest brands in their minds in buying situations.
• Without advertising, you will find it difficult to even maintain market share.
Consumers buy the brands that are the freshest in their minds. When you don't advertise, but your competitors do, they steal your sales.
Many researchers have claimed that advertising is not effective because they don't seem to lead to an increase in sales, within a short time frame.
In most cases, these researchers either measured ad effectiveness for too short a time period (most ads are effective long-term as consumers tend to only be influenced by them long after they first see the ad or ad campaign), or they didn't take into account the fact that a plateau in sales is usually a sign that an ad was indeed effective at helping the brand to keep competitors from stealing sales.