Friday, April 6, 2007

In Advertising, If The Ad Doesn't Work, Change The Ad

Don't Throw Good Money At Ads That Don't Produce

By David Miranda

Year after year, when consumers are asked to rank the best Super Bowl ads of all time, they put the Mean Joe Green Coke commercial at the top of the list. (View ad) We've all seen it countless times.

Few people are aware, however, that this beloved commercial only ran one time. Yes, just once. Why? Well, according to Sergio Zyman, who was Coke's SVP of Marketing who both approved and pulled the ad, it did not produce results. It did not sell more Coke.

There is a lesson to be learned here. More often than not, advertising that does not produce continues to be funded by brands in hopes, it seems, that it eventually will. The rationale is "we've spent all this money on creative and media, so we have to see this through."

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Do you keep frequenting the same restaurant if the food and service is bad? Do you keep investing in stocks that don't generate returns? Do you keep pouring water in a bucket that has a hole in it? Of course not. Then why continue to run advertising that doesn't produce?

Then what is an advertiser to do? Here are few suggestions.

  1. Admit, that despite the best of planning, creativity, and intentions, sometimes things don't work.
  2. Change the ad.
  3. Get all the contributors together - research, brand managers, agency execs - and do a CSI-worthy post mortem. How did we miss the mark? Do we tweak or go back to the drawing boards?
  4. Get new creative out there
  5. Brush yourself off and get back in the game.
  6. If it works, spend more media on it. If it doesn't, well, you know what to do.

Advertising that doesn't work should be euthanized not put on life support. The health of the brand is at stake.