Magazine article Marketing

Stop Comparing Opposite Sides of the Same Coin

Magazine article Marketing

Stop Comparing Opposite Sides of the Same Coin

Article excerpt

"Good morning, you lot. Here is the news. Food biggie Heinz is slashing its boring, old-fashioned, above-the-line advertising and is dashing into modern, trendy database marketing. Oops, I'm sorry. I'll read that again. Morning all. Big foodie Heinz is slashing its modern, trendy database marketing and is dashing back into boring, old-fashioned, above-the-line advertising. Oops..."

A couple of years ago, commentators and gurus climbed out of their baked bean cans and boldly foretold the end of advertising as we knew it. FMCG marketers, they predicted, were about to abandon TV in droves. Immediately, TV advertising boomed. Now that Heinz has announced it is moving back above the line, the know-alls have remained strangely silent. Their predictions, it transpires, were as meaningful as a bowl of alphabetti spaghetti.

Now, if you suspect that I am going to make whoopee because above-the-line advertising has triumphed over database marketing, you are utterly mistaken. I have, it is true, occasionally pointed out that database marketing is neither particularly modern nor particularly trendy. (It was far, far, more important at the end of the 19th century than it will be at the end of the 20th). But nonetheless, I am a dedicated supporter of direct marketing, in which I have been continuously involved since I was a teeny-bopper in kneepants.

But as Heinz seems belatedly to have discovered, media advertising and database marketing - or 'direct mail' as it used to be called - are qualitatively different forms of communication. …

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