It´s been quite a while, but I remember pretty well. I was heading to the office on a usual morning in London. Subway was crowded (as every morning) and I picked up my edition of the “Metro” at the entrance of the tube about to start what´s going on in the world of stars and gossip…and yes, of course some news (I really love this mix of information in this paper…even today I read it most of the time on my way to work every morning here in Germany…it´s a lovely little habit, but the app can´t beat the printed version.) So while I was waiting for my tube a poster caught my attention. It was by Jack Daniels. A little nice story about how at Jack Daniels they take care of every letter sent to them.
Not a huge story…but a really nice story. Quick enough to read until my tube arrived but long enough that it took me at least a minute to read it. That was nice. And this is why I still can remember the brand and where I saw it. Can you remember what’s on at least one poster on your way to work? I bet you can´t. Why? Because it´s boring! The copy is more or less 1-2 sentences like “buy my product, buy my product…FUCK, BUY MY PRODUCT!!!!!” It´s so replaceable that it drowns in all those messages that we as advertisers used to bombard to consumer day by day. The structure is mostly the same:
- less copy (the consumer needs to catch the information as fast as possible)
- biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig (emotional) image, because mankind is a visual “thing”
- and of course the product (please make it as big as possible don´t care about proportions)
This is how it works today. I really spend a lot of time thinking about this. Does such an advert really catches the attention of a customer that has at least 750 contacts to advertising messages per day (according to an article for the Online Media Rockstars (OMR) 2017). If you really want to get your message recognized, you need to change your way of thinking. You need to provide a benefit in whatsoever way. One way could be to give discounts, another one could be a lottery with very attractive prices…but all those solutions have no charm, and are in my point of view pretty annoying. We (as advertisers) seem to lose the capability to tell stories. Back in the 60-70ties TV commercials were minutes long, told complete stories, and did it with charm. Now TV advertising became expensive…30 seconds spots are the regular thing…it seems there is no time anymore to tell stories that catches your heart and keep in your mind. And this is the thing…successful advertising needs to be kept in mind. Kept in mind with a positive emotional feeling. That´s why I say, that we need to go back to the storytelling that was advertising capable of in the last decades…in moving material as well as in print.
Instead if screaming, let´s be more silent
I always wonder why marketers think that screaming the brand name as big and as loud as possible could be the solution to everything. No, it´s not…in such times as today, you need to differ, even if it means to be a little bit more silent then the rest, because this is the difference. Example needed?
…128 mio views on youtube. Says enough. Right?
Good products = good long copy ads
But there some great examples of long copy as well, done in the past.
Why is it so complicated to get back to such informational advertising? Is it because of the attention level, that today’s customers have? Is it because marketers don’t understand the positive impact of informational advertising? Or is it just because everyone is fucked up by SEO to please the “Google Search Engine”? I would love to see more storytelling in digital advertising and hope for more in the future.
I see it as essential for time to come that people need to get the point of advertising as a helping hand in making purchase decisions. Therefore it’s important to have advertising that tells you WHY it’s a good decision to buy this product. It’s the job of a copywriter and NOT the job of an SEO specialist to create copy that matches the needs of a customer. For way too long now Google dictates the way of digital writing. We sacrifice good copywriting for rankings in search results. Yes, of course, some may say that a good copywriter is able to create so conform copies that are still good to read, but I say that copies like the ones above were created under these conditions. They were focused on the product and with the skills and inspiration of a passionate man or woman. And if we don’t reflect those skills in future ads, we will have to increase more and more the number of ad contacts per customer more because it will be one big swamp if similar ads that no one really cares about.