Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dollars & Sense - Situational Ads

Yesterday I was in the car listening to the Eagles game on WIP when one of those situational advertisements came on.  To be completely honest I forget what the situation was (it may have just been a first down), but it was long and not very memorable.  After the play Merrill Reese went on for a good 30-40 seconds about “your local area Honda dealer” blah blah blah. 

The reason it was bad in my mind wasn’t that it was long, although I didn’t think it helped.  I thought it was bad because there was nothing catchy.  There was nothing to make me remember this Honda dealership.  There was nothing to make it all stick.

This all got me to wondering, what is a good example of a well-placed situational advertisement.  One that sticks out in my mind (sorry for all the Philadelphia examples) is the Phillies and New York Life.  Every time a Phillies player hits a double, Tom McCarthy says, “Safe and secure with New York Life.”  I know it’s nothing exciting, but it works. 

It works because of a few reasons.  First, it sticks.  It’s short enough to remember.  It’s kind of catchy.  Also something that I think is important is, well, it makes sense.  Even though the advertisement is short, it tells you what New York Life does or at least gives a general idea.  Finally, it fits the situation.  The Honda deal with WIP simply states a bunch of random facts that don’t seem to have much rhyme or reason other than being a cut and dry advertisement.  The New York Life advertisement fits the situation well.  The player slides in safe with a double and he’s safe and secure.  It flows and it makes sense.

In a time when we may be beginning to become immune to advertising, it is increasingly important to put something out there that people will remember.  Stickiness factor is obviously a huge part because you need something that sticks in the minds of the consumer.  New York Life kept it simple and came up with something borderline catchy and situational.  Honda either grossly under-thought their advertisement or grossly over-thought it.  Either way there was no creativity and it was very dry.  If a company’s advertisements are a reflection of their overall brand, lack of creativity and dry are two elements that should stay out of their advertisements.  Bad advertisements lead to bad brands.

Follow Kevin Rossi on Twitter @kevin_rossi.

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