What was the last product demo you saw?
Not on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, they’re all over those, but on tv, billboards or press (does press still exist?).
You just don’t see agencies doing them anymore.
Odd, because, and I hope I’m not giving away any trade secrets here, the goal of most advertising is to persuade people that the product featured is good.
Ideally, REALLY good.
So showing it in action, performing well, seems like it might be a good way to go?
Because most purchasing decisions are based on what a product does. But sometimes in ad agencies, we can get too distracted with our own fancy theories and philosophies.
Not just in agencies, sometimes when I teach I’ll review work that, although clever, doesn’t feel like it’ll sell anything.
It doesn’t feel like it’s trying to sell anything.
Would you buy that cereal because you’re told it’s what the cool folks eat?
Or a computer because the company that makes it has some very progressive social policies?
But most wouldn’t, they want to know what’s in it for them.
My advice when such a situation arises is always the same; imagine you’re with a friend, face to face, how would you persuade them to buy this product?.
They know they can’t waffle and bullshit friends, so they stop trying. Instead, they start thinking about why their friend may actually part with money for this product.
Focussing on what it does.
How it may help them.
The ideas often become less grandiose and more like common-sense advice.
Which is more persuasive.
As the saying goes – Don’t tell me you’re funny, make me laugh.
So why are we producing less product demos?
Less products to warrant that type of advertising today?
Would that kind of ‘hard sell’ advertising reflect badly on a brand today? Or that it would reflect badly on us?
(Answers on a postcard, etc, etc.)
p.s. I couldn’t help wondering if the British Government spent less money telling people what to do about Covid-19 and more on demonstrating the benefits of wearing masks and washing hands, the situation may be a bit better?
E.g. 1. Masks.
E.g. 2. Soap.
When I gathered together this bunch, I didn’t look through awards sites or annuals, I just tried to remember product demonstrations, ones that had stuck with me.
Consequently, there are some ads in here that I couldn’t tell you when or where they were done, like Tonka and the nail varnish ad.
But having collated all of this ‘unfashionable’ work, it dawned on me that most of it was created by the most fashionable agencies.
At least, the most fashionable in their of the day.
DDB, PKL, WRG, GGT, BBH, WCRS, DDB, AMV, APPLE.
Written by the likes of George Lois, Roy Grace, Dave Trott, David Abbott, John Webster, Ron Collins.
Maybe they knew something we don’t?