Marketing Idea No. 34 – For whom do we make our advertisements?

Its an age old question that no one asks. When we create, whom do we keep in mind?

Hollywood producers got it dead right – they make the movie for the moviegoing audience. The result may well be a series of brainless, thoughtless 120 minute extravaganza that is furthest from reality and cinematic quality – but the box office numbers keep ringing up. Spiderman 3 and Pitrates of the Carribean is not the emblem of cinema at its best – but if thats what audience wants, thats what audience will get.

 But when it comes to arthouse films, the situation is different. These films, more often than not, are made by directors either for their own ego patting, or for a select group of movie buffs or plain and simply for “Authority who decides who will win awards”. This is also movie making – but the purpose and audience is different.

In terms of advertising – the situation only gets confusing. While ad agencies would love to say that they prepare advertisements for the customers – in reality they are making them to ensure awards or ensure client loyalty. Getting the product to sell is the furthest thing on their mind. On the other hand, Brand Managers prepare the ads to create an image for his brand as well as sell their products – entertaining customers is the last thing on their mind.

And that entails the perennial client – agency war, which somehow never gets solved.

The solution could be as simple as asking this question – why do customers hear, watch or read advertisements?

The answer is two-fold – 1. They are looking, subconsciously or consciously for solutions to their problems 2. They are looking to be informed and entertained.

Therefore, keeping these two perspectives in mind, we see that the glorious end of this client – agency battle is for one to understand the others point of view and to accept that both of them are at best 50% right. As point number 1 shows, customers would want to solve their problems by buying products – which is what every brand manager would argue about. But point number 2 states that customers also come to expect of quality ways to be informed – not just a mundane public announcement. And that is the secret desire of every creative director in the world.

For this to work – the blue corner somehow must co exist with the red corner. Together, they can create mind blowing advertisements that can sell.

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