Every day of our lives we are bombarded with advertising. The average person in a modernized country is exposed to more advertising information in a single day than human beings 500 years encountered in total information over a lifetime. If advertising is such a mainstay in everyday life, it begs an important question. Why is so much advertising so fatally flawed? These are a few of the poorest advertising flaws that we see everyday.
What are they selling?
One of the worst advertising flaws out there arrives in the form of ads that catch your attention, but they somehow fail to tell you what it is they are selling. During the glory years of the dotcom boom in the late 1990s, there was a Super Bowl ad called âcat herdersâ. The ad was the type of clever, concise and witty advertisement viewers expect from Super Bowl ads.
The problem was that no one knew what was they were selling. There were cowboys. There were cats. There were lint rollers. There just wasnât a specific sales pitch that anyone in the audience could decipher.
Patronizing the customer
Dove, in recent years, has focused its advertising effort on a âCampaign for Real Beautyâ to draw more women into buying the companyâs products. The most recent iteration of the campaign involved a police sketch artist sitting down and making drawings of women based on their self-descriptions and the descriptions of others. The notion is that women do not appreciate how beautiful they really are.
Unfortunately, the campaign depicted mostly thin, young and attractive women. Customers quickly sensed something was odd. Dove was accused of blaming women for nitpicking their flaws. Likewise, the obvious inference of any beauty campaign is that women need beauty products to look better. The slightly feminist tack of the campaign opened Dove up to a whole host of old criticisms, the type they were trying to silence.
Failure to plan
In the age of social media, a number of companies are employing a guest posting agency to advance their advertising on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other websites. These campaigns have to be well-planned or they can backfire. Plastering a million poorly co-ordinated posts linking to your site will draw the ire of Google. In 2011, JCPenney rose to the top of Google in a number of searches just before the holiday season. Their poor planning eventually backfired and got their pages demoted in a number of searches.
*Image courtesy of Qualitystockphotos