Magazine article Marketing

Jurassic Adland Is Threatened by Superhighways

Magazine article Marketing

Jurassic Adland Is Threatened by Superhighways

Article excerpt

Anybody who reads any of the advertising trade magazines from America will know that our industry is changing ... dramatically.

A fascinating piece from Adweek put five ad execs on an Internet bulletin board, to talk about the future. Two thoughts were, I felt, worth repeating.

First off, a thought from Jane Newman, founding partner of Merkley Newman Harty. Talking about how advertising will be different in the future she says, "Maybe it will have a British accent, advertising that builds a personality rather than gives a rational itemisation of features."

Pause for a little pat on the back, one feels. We've been doing it right -- the Yanks have been getting it wrong. Just as we all suspected.

But hang on just a goldarned moment. Because anyone who read Paul Twivy's thoughts in a recent Marketing column will know that there is another school of thought. Paul wrote eloquently of the need for British advertisers to return to the idea of rational USP-advertising. And he claimed (very convincingly) that the US enjoyed better products because its advertising was more rationally-based. The plot thickens.

But two things initially worry me about Paul's contentions. One, the USP died, as he admits, because of a lack of competitive insulation. Basically, product USPs could be copied straightaway -- which meant they didn't stay unique selling propositions for very long. And that hasn't changed -- innovations can be copied even quicker these days. And two, personality-based advertising can help build brands, over and above the shorter-term impact of purely logical ads. …

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