we are here advertising

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The hottest advertising topic of the day is digital ad privacy. Mark Zuckerberg brought his suit to Washington last week to answer questions about privacy before Congress and now those interested understand they can turn privacy settings on. Where and how to do it may be a bit of a slog, but at least they know.

Privacy and data analytics are important. Ish. Errant misuse of that data for illegal means is a matter for the law.  That is important. But that’s not advertising.

For ad girls and guys, what’s more important to the business is the state of digital creative. It’s horrendous.  The worst form of offline ad craft I refer to as “We’re Here” advertising; basically, it tells consumers what you sell and where to buy. The worst form of digital advertising is “Click Here” advertising; it does the same thing but with less effort.  The digital ad footprint is expanding in terms of pixels and load but the real estate is still small. Therefore, the creative is ghostly poor. It’s hard to even characterize as creative. Congress should call Bob Greenberg to the mic and ask about that.

Poor digital creative is doing more to hurt the ad business than cookies, opt-outs and database junkies ever will.

Make privacy settings easier to access. Put bad guys behind bars. And fix the damn digital creative.

Peace.

 

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The word “branding” means many things to many people.  To an art director it means design.  To a writer it means tag- or campaign-line. A media person sees it as threshold weights of eyes and ears. A web designer sees branding in terms of wireframes.  Digital agencies view it as the part of their portfolio that doesn’t need to be judged on click throughs.

Selling, on the other hand, is a verb and it has only one meaning.  Moving merch.  Or services.

No matter who is using or misusing the word branding, it’s important they know it means selling. Not exposure. Sadly, many feel getting the name out there is enough. When a communication is all claim and no proof it’s nothing more than “we’re here” advertising.  “We’re here” advertising simply acknowledges the category and where to buy. “If you have lung cancer, our hospital provides hope.”

Branding is about organizing proof beneath a claim.  That’s why creative briefs have a line called “reason to believe.”  If there is no reason to believe – following an organized, road-mapped, discrete plan – there is no branding. There are simply tactics.  Tactic may be the fun in the business but the revenue and earnings are in brand management. Peace!

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We’re Here!

 

This is a leader board from AOL that appeared on Adweek.com.  It’s a perfect example of “We’re Here” advertising, doing little more than telling users they exist.  The creative for this baby could not have taken more than 10 minutes.  And that with 3 re-dos.  Come on AOL, you can do better than this!  Peace!

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