Magazine article Marketing

Cynicism Is the Infallible Way to Judge Great Ads

Magazine article Marketing

Cynicism Is the Infallible Way to Judge Great Ads

Article excerpt

From time to time people at parties accuse me of cynicism. I happily plead guilty, reminding them of the greatest cynic, Jesus Christ, who said,. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" when the adultress was about to be stoned to death.

A wise cynic once asked America's top creative directors which ads they most admired -- then checked to see what sales they got. As you know, working out what sales advertising produces is so hard, many have despaired that it could ever be done, so I wonder how he measured this. However, I do remember the ads the creative directors liked were amazingly bad when it came to making money.

I have found this an admirable guide over the years. If advertising and marketing pundits like it, disaster is highly likely--and vice versa. For example, the experts cast scorn on the Goldfish card. What an earth has gas got to do with financial services? Indeed, what on earth have goldfish got to do with them? It seemed such a zany idea that few believed it could work. So last week I read the crazy Goldfish already has over 500,000 admirers.

Compare this with the admiration showered on First Direct. After over eight years it hasn't done that much better than Goldfish in terms of customers. A friend in banking told me it has yet to turn a profit. Hard to believe--but even if it has, it took a hell of a long time. And how about `The future is Orange'--the smuggest advertising campaign ever? Again, much-praised -- but not much to write home about if you're interested in profit. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.