The good, the bad, and the ugly
When it comes to the wonderful world of advertising, there’s so much out there. (Maybe even too much.) Some still believe traditional media is the way to go, but social media taking over everything indicates otherwise. We are here to share the biggest advertising industry myths.
Myth #1: Advertising is Manipulation
In some ways, this is true. But it’s not as aggressive as it seems. The definition of advertising is to share, promote, and spread messages that promote or sell a product, service or idea. How do you do that without making sure your message is being seen? There are ways that companies can hypnotize consumers with their words and messages. Take the ASPCA for example. Those commercials with sweet puppies looking in your eyes, sad music playing in the background, images of animals with broken bones covering the screens, are absolutely a more manipulative form of marketing; but that doesn’t always work. Most people you know will change the channel before they hop on the phone to donate money, because they can’t stand seeing those images.
This myth may be slightly true, if you’re thinking about ads from years and years ago. Most of the “manipulative ads” that you see are just fine, thanks to the Federal Trade Commission. Since opening their doors 105 years ago, they have protected audiences from unethical, misleading and legitimately manipulative ads.
Myth #2: A Good Product Can Sell Itself
False, so false. Advertising is meant to sell a feeling, a story, an emotional connection. Think about this: You might be more inclined to buy Charmin Toilet Paper rather than a store brand because you grew up with images of dancing bears, and don’t want to give up on the brand. You drink Coke instead of Shasta because it’s Coke, and it’s been around since your GrandPappy was born. Consumers build connections to brands, and once they’re hooked, will stick to what they know. When most people buy a product, it has to do with reviews, commercials, recommendations, and less with the product itself.
Myth #3: Radio Ads are Dead
Don’t give up on it yet, radio is still relevant. A recent survey found that 228.5 million people still make a point to tune into their favorite stations, especially during the daily commutes to and from work. That is a huge audience you can target, never rule it out completely.
Myth #4: Advertising is Only Necessary When Business is Crazy
If anything, it’s exactly the opposite. The perfect time to ramp up advertising is when life is slow. People are spending more time on social media, taking more time to pay attention to things around them, and this gives businesses more time to perfect the perfect advertising plan to ramp up their product.
Myth #5: Humor is Always the Way to Go
We all like to laugh. But sometimes adding too much humor can take away from the brand and product itself. The Metro Trains Melbourne “Dumb Ways to Die” ad was the perfect way to spread a good message without overplaying humor. But some GoDaddy ads can be a little much, especially when you think about the platform they are shared on. If a company is not taking their own product or practice seriously, how can they expect others to?
Myth #6: Nobody Watches TV Anymore
It is true that streaming services are taking over, but not everyone pays for Hulu without commercials; not everyone pays for streaming services at all. Right now, people are watching television more than ever. Whether it’s regular cable or streaming services, people are consuming it. There is no better time than now to take advantage of consumers binge watching their favorite shows.
Myth #7: It’s Too Expensive
You do not need to spend millions of dollars to have an effective brand campaign. Online marketing is one of the most cost effective platforms, and there are countless ways to save money while helping to promote your business:
- Utilize all social media sites:
- Yes, you can pay to promote posts, but most of the time advertising on social media is free. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram are all FREE, and can easily be used to reach out to your audience and build a brand.
- Get your name on local business sites:
- One of the most inexpensive ways to promote your brand is to get your company listed on local business platforms and sites. Google Places, Yahoo Directory, local magazines and news outlets, and Yelp are all great places to drop a little money.
- Advertise Online
- It can be expensive, but pay per click advertising gives you full control. You control budget, you track the results, you write all the ads, it’s all you. There are plenty of websites that help you choose which form you’d like to use based on your audience and needs.
Myth #8: Advertising is the Same as Public Relations
This is a big no-no. At ANDERSON, we are an Advertising and Public Relations company, two very different practices. While there is some overlap between the two, and they work great together to deliver campaigns, they are very different. Let’s start with the definitions. According to the ever-reliable dictionary.com, advertising is; “The act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, especially by paid announcements in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, billboards, etc.” Public relations is, “The actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc.”
See, similar, but different. Their collective focuses have similar goals, but entirely different practices and patterns.
Myth #9: People Ignore Paid Ads
If you go on YouTube right now and search “Buying Every Instagram Ad that Pops Up,” it’s more common than you’d think. Yes, YouTube stars do that mostly for views, but there is almost an 80% guarantee you know someone who has purchased at least one item from an Instagram or Facebook ad. Sometimes you just can’t help it, it is too tempting.
Myth #10: Advertising Doesn’t Do Anything
A lot of people, brands alike, do not think that advertising does enough good for the money spent on it. Advertising is constantly evolving and changing, everyday there are new ways to rope in customers and bring awareness to your goals. All new forms of advertising are created to provide the perfect calculation of ROI. DO NOT underestimate it. Whether it’s paid or not, brands should not underestimate the power of great advertising.