Bob Hoffman wrote a 2-part blog post titled Is Creative Advertising Really More Effective?

« While I firmly believe that creativity in advertising is a massive advantage over banality, I also recognize that advertising I deem highly creative has an inconvenient record of failure. In advertising there are no alwayses or nevers, only likelihoods and probabilities. »

« Several people commented that the only criterion for creativity in advertising is sales success. I reject this out of hand.  »

« First, I would point to the argument made by Byron Sharp in How Brands Grow that one of advertising’s primary functions is not necessarily to grow sales, but to maintain sales and market share. Or as he says, keep the airplane at 35,000 feet. In a highly competitive world, it can take an effective advertising effort just to keep many high-flying brands aloft. This is rarely taken into account in most analyses of ad effectiveness.  »

« Second, I would argue that the long-term effect of advertising on brand success is very hard to tease out of sales results that are calculated on shorter time scales.  »


In Bob Hoffman’s Newsletter,  he included the following comment about the harmful effects of gratuitous tinkering:

« It was just a few years ago that Dos Equis had one of the most successful campaigns in the world. But, as we know, incompetent marketing people have an irresistible compulsion to fuck with everything. Some marketing genius decided they needed to appeal to millennials by “contemporizing” the campaign — code word for getting rid of the old guy. This dimwit contemporized a great campaign out of existence. »


Bob Hoffman is author of Bad Men.

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