Have agents of advertising forgotten how to create desire? I often think so. David Ogilvy –sorry, I had to do it– once said “our business is infected with people who have never sold a thing in their lives.” He was referring to artists more worried about the art than the sale. Until, you’ve actually looked into the eyes of someone while coaxing money for product, you haven’t sold. You haven’t learned about creating desire.
I saw a black and white ad for Omaha Steaks in the paper-paper today. Steak is one of my favorite things, with many mental images and smells conjured up simply by saying the word. But a poor reproduction of a plate of gray, less gray and glistening gray steak is not one way to do it. The picture was more likely to create desire for turkey. “The ad’s headline “Give the gift that will thrill everyone” doesn’t create desire. Nor do the phrases “2 free gifts” or “now only $49.”
Advertising today has often jumped to the transaction without spending time on the sell — on creating desire.
The Internet as a selling medium is working because it offers up multi-media images: color, sounds, motion and a non-static storytelling. The problem is, the medium is doing more of the work than the creative department. The writers, art directors and creative directors’ fingerprints are hard to find in most of web selling today. Ergo, the industry’s fascination with consumer generated content.
The web gives sellers and selling agents an enormously rich canvas on which to create desire. Way more powerful than print and TV. Let’s use it people. Peace and Happy Thanksgiving to All!