Advertising that wins awards

by 41 comments
#copywriting #advertising #awards #wins
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    They're born every minute. They still think Branding is great advertising, win an award and pondlife like me wrap up the deals.

    Nice one, Joe!
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Okay, let's cut the crap. Pepsi had a challenge, and beat Coke hands down.

    Coke was distraught!

    Then - - - do you remember what actually happened? The people who changed to Pepsi returned to drinking Coke despite all the hype.

    Nobody could work out why. Even CocaCola themselves!!

    So tell me this: was all the money Pepsi spent on branding actually of any value to them in the long run?


    Everyone who liked Coke in the first place went back to it. Regardless of bells and dogs - and don't forget that those dogs could easily have been running a ring on poor Pavlov.

    Branding, when carefully used is effective. It should not be used as an offensive weapon though - doing that as Pepsi did will backfire because it takes no account of why people buy Pepsi and not Coke. Understanding why people buy Pepsi will make your branding attempts 100x more effective in real terms.

    That is why Branding is such rubbish advertising. Branding never takes account of what motivates people. It merely assumes in traditional cart-before-the-horse fashion that they are right because they think they are right.

    Oh, and why did people go back to Coke? Well, let's think about what Pepsi did. They had three glasses of coke. You took a sip of each and made your decision.

    Which is where they made their fundamental mistake. They had a bright idea, a brilliant breakthrough. A masterstroke that only a marketing department could make. They didn't think what people do when drinking coke.

    So why did Coke not understand why this was? Because their marketing departments didn't understand why people bought their product any more than Pepsi did. They had always asked the stupid questions that brain-dead branding managers ask -

    "is the label better in yellow or pink, do you prefer this typeface or that?"

    They lack the imaginative faculties to ask what it is that people do when drinking their product.
    It never entered their little heads!
    Only with substantial outlay and much scratching of heads did they realize that people actually sit down and enjoy an entire glass of coke when relaxing. The last thing any of them do is take a sip and leave the glass on the kitchen tabletop.

    Which is why everyone went back to buying Coke.
  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    If branding is such rubbish, why do manufacturers pay more for eye level shelf space? Once they're right in front of your face, that brand messaging they've been sending out for years is highly likely to sway your decision unless you shop on price alone. Unfortunately these days, many people are very aware that cheap is not always better and it's often better to buy a known brand (there's that consistency mentioned above) so they don't waste money.

    Does branding push direct sales in the way sales letters and coupons, etc. do? No. Of course not.

    Does it play a huge part in today's shoppers' purchasing decisions? Yes.
  • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
    Angie, yes, of course. Branding is a massive, massive thing. In the high street. I'd argue that the focus on brand online has perhaps gone too far, though, although it does depend what you consider "brand" to be.

    Most buyers, online, look at price and reviews or they look at wants and needs. Unless they're buying a physical item, most of the time I don't think they'll pay too much attention to the actual brand, so long as the copy identifies with them.

    Saying that, being seen more and having higher authority will lead to "better", higher paying clients in the future, so I guess it does make a huge difference: depending on definition.
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    The Pepsi challenge was not a branding effort. It was an intellectual appeal.

    Branding is an affair of the heart.

    People went back to coke because they were emotionally invested in the brand.
    Really? Intellectual was it? Hmmm ...

    The customers preferred the taste. When they sipped Pepsi, it tasted better. When they drank an entire glass - Coke tasted better than Pepsi. So much for emotion - at least where branding is concerned. Branding is part of the corporate problem - poor thinking.

    Angie Colee
    Does it play a huge part in today's shoppers' purchasing decisions? Yes.
    Do you have any independent shops left in your area - or is it just Walmart and other Supermarkets? If so, then there is little in the way of choice in any case.

    Believe me, those people who think branding is great fall for the copywriter's emotional sways every time. Why? Because branding is based on intellectual theories, and the results based on those. Dig deeper - where the intellect (reason/logic) no longer holds sway - and you find the things that really swing people's buying.
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    My definition of branding: attempting to speak to everyone, everywhere. Like the Walmart brand, CocaCola etc.

    Now, in my defense, the results I gave to the "Pepsi Challenge" were from a scientific study way back in a magazine like the Scientific American or New Scientist (science is my background, by the way). Their analysis was succinct and clear.

    Now, brand loyalty is a very large and real thing. So you would be right to claim big things for it. The problem is that when used at corporate level, most people working there will be of a similar mind. After all, CocaCola and Pepsi are rivals. They compete for much the same audience. That is when it gets expensive and ineffective.

    Now my turn: please define "intellectual appeal" and "taste". Then I can shoot you down because we are limited to small spaces in making attempts to describe things that are really quite amorphous.
  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    Isn't it nice how they all fight.


    Coke is the real deal by the way and Pepsi is just, well the other thing.

    This thread is about branding.

    Branding is important but it is a result.

    If you make branding the purpose of an advertising campaign it gets very expensive. Just wanted to say there is a better way to do things.
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    By intellectual appeal, I mean just that. An appeal to the intellect. To reason. Logic.
    If you are appealing to logic, you are in for trouble. People make intellectual decisions long after the lizard brain* has come to its conclusions. (*as they term it in the US - to me it is way more subtle than that). The point about dealing at this coarse level of thinking is that it leaves too many questions unanswered. Such as "what motivated them to think this" - and it wasn't the color of the tin, was it?

    Because if a client comes to me and wants to break into a heavily branded market, I don't even break into it for them. There is always something their prospects do before looking for that brand. Find out what that is and get highly targeted clicks for 15c instead of $5.50. Do that a few times and you're in business, and those who are branding don't even notice that their market is being eaten away from under them.

    In your attempt to shoot me down, you will probably make some argument about the intellect being the realm of the objective and taste being subjective.
    The problem for you is that the intellect only appears to be the realm of the objective. The intellect is an isolated island in a sea of subjective thinking. Take a look at my article on Tom Thomson (a Canadian painter) to see what I mean. The subjective, engaged realm is as real for an academic as it is for the ordinary Joe Doe. Taste is subjective, yet funnily it is still common to all humans.

    Now, a little experiment for you. When you are thinking with your intellectual faculties, you are aware of the external world. Let us say that you can hear the clock ticking in the background. Only when you are watching your favorite movie, you won't notice that you have become absorbed in watching it. Everything you see and feel is on that screen. The rest of the world seems to disappear.

    And you can't hear the clock ticking - your critical faculties have been bypassed.

    Just try it.

    Employ such methods as a copywriter and believe me, people become engaged. They will click through at speeds that really pleases Google. You can imagine what happens to the bid price after that. (Even if the days of jetstreaming are long gone!).

    Now just as a codicil, I do know my academics. My father was a professor before he retired, and his thinking fits neatly into the category that yours does.

    HP Goodboy
    Just wanted to say there is a better way to do things.
    So how about you tell us a few, then instead of making trite remarks?
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Struggling, are we? When you said

    In your attempt to shoot me down, you will probably make some argument about the intellect being the realm of the objective and taste being subjective.
    I knew you were inside the box.

  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Angie, stop taking sides. I was responding to something he said that defined his ability to think using his own words.

    If that is an attack, then so be it. So please be more careful next time.

  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    I'm struggling in a box?

    Please elaborate.
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Ken Caudill
    The fact that emotion enters into the buying decision makes it incumbent on the copywriter to provide a rationalization for the prospect's behavior.
    Why does everything have to be rationalized? I don't know of one (good) copywriter who bothers to do that. A waste of valuable real estate!

    As to
    <Now that ought to evoke a few emotional reactions.>
    It is an emotional reaction itself. Think about it. No, better not, you'll only get tangled in tautologies.
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Ken C
    ALL good copywriters do that. It's their stock and trade.

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    It's as simple as that.
    Why is it then so hard to do well?

    Oh, and if I have no idea what I am talking about, you have no idea what my fees are.
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    To the last three posters: why are you all so defensive? Usually a conversation like this gets hot, there aren't the flabby responses that all avoid the questions I ask of you. The answers are direct and to the point.

    So why is that, I wonder?

  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Long story short, you haven't proven you know what you are talking about. Those "defensive" posters are all respected members of this forum including the moderator.
    It needed no proof for them to show their fear of me by being so defensive. Perhaps they will review their notions of what it is to be certified.
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    No one here feels threatened by you. And no response to you has been defensive. Dismissive maybe, but not defensive.
    It still got your attention. What's more, dismissive or defensive, it hasn't been on the offensive. Which is what I am looking for.


    Because when you speak with a businessman and all they can do is tell you what they do, how they do it and where, you know that it's going to be tough doing their marketing. Why? Because they aren't interested in who they are in business for. Their customers, clients. Oh! You say, they know that. Well do they? Or is it only the bottom line they are interested in - as most are? The point I am making is subtle. What's more, you've missed it all along. Take another strand. Marvin isn't convinced, wants proof.

    So Marvin wants proof - only what proof does he want? The proof my father would want is different from the proof you want to the proof I don't need. Because a Cambridge academic won't ever get marketing.

    Now how am I to prove something to someone who isn't telling me how he wants it proved? Just because someone is "a respected member of the forum" tells me what, precisely? That they have the respect of their fellows because - well, is it that they think the same, or is it the number of thanks they get? Just where does this respect have any real meaning save in the imaginations of a few forum members? Or is it that they have been typing things for five years and are therefore to be respected? By default, so to speak.

    I have met people like that.

    One was the Governor of the Bank of England. Wanted respect. For what, may I ask? Sitting at a desk for 40 years and feeling bored? I had more respect for his butler because he knew what made a decent claret - and get it for $15 and not $1500. In other words, the kind of guy who gets people to realize that a wine is worth something because of its qualities. Not the kind of guy who accepts it as such because someone else tells him it is, or the auction room was packed and someone else kept bidding him up.

    So when someone eventually pulls out their sword make sure it's sharp. There's a lot more to getting an edge than just using steel.

    Oh, and a side note to Angie Colee: my thoughts about my fees had nothing to do with money.
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
  • Profile picture of the author TheSalesBooster
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Do *I* want proof? No... I don't need it as your first posts gave more than enough indication you were throwing out flame bait to see what would stick.
    Interesting use of language.

    Long story short, you haven't proven you know what you are talking about.
    Yesterday, you want it, then today you gabble something about not wanting it in the first place. Have I tied you in enough knots for one week, or do you want to come back for more?

    And started off like a 15 year old coming off a free-for-all forum who had not learned respect for themselves, let alone others, was enough.
    The problem for you is deeply subtle: what do you respect? What is it that you really think is worthwhile? Because in all your posts you haven't shown me anything of what you really believe. It's all riposte and parry - not a single lunge. I think the word is touché, n'est ce pas?

    So let us rationalize it for those who lack the finer elements of conversation. What do you respect, and how am I to meet that demand?
  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee

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