Did You Buy a Snickers Bar Yet?
Focus on Selling – Not Entertaining
When it comes to advertising it’s important not to confuse advertising that entertains with advertising that actually sells. This belief comes from spending way too much time (in a good way) with some of the best direct response marketers on planet Earth. If you look, most Super Bowl ads are almost entirely judged on entertainment value. Yeah there were entertaining ads that made me laugh. Honestly, did Abe Bogota and Betty White actually get you to buy a Snickers bar? Probably not. The reason that huge companies like Coke and Anheuser-Busch can get away with funny commercials is because they have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on advertising. Most event organizers don’t enjoy such a luxury.
Great Advice From an Advertising Master
David Ogilvy, The Pope of Modern Advertising, is famous for saying "I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.” The purpose of advertising is to sell. Ogilvy believed that “Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn't sell much of anything." With Ogilvy, advertising was tied to bottom line results. The thing that constantly cracks me up is all the advertising agencies that revere David Ogilvy, yet completely ignore his most basic tenants.
Halfway Decent Ads
Looking back, the best ads were from Denny’s and Google. In my opinion, the previously mentioned companies created ads with a result in mind. Denny’s gives away free food as a loss leader. Last year, Denny’s Grand Slam Giveaway packed their restaurants. Do you think all those people are going to Denny’s and ONLY getting a FREE? Consider this . . . “Every $2 coffee translates into something like $1.70 profit. If 1.5 million of the freeloaders spring for coffee, the revenues will hover around $2.5 million. Experts estimate that 2009’s giveaway generated roughly $50 million through free advertising.” (Source: “Denny's Free Grand Slam Breakfasts, and the Cost of Free Publicity by Bruce Watson - Daily Finance.com) Google slyly featured all the neat little things their search engine can do for you. The Google commercial was clean and brutally simple – type something in, hit search, and get results. Search results come up with advertising worth billions of dollars to Google.
Here is a quick update of Denny's Free Grand Slam giveaway as of 02/10/2010 from a Denny's Press Release:
- Denny's served approximately 2 million Grand Slams across the U.S. Some restaurants served more than 200 breakfasts an hour, however, this increase from last year was offset by bad weather across the country.
- There were approximately 49 million hits on Denny's website since the Super Bowl giveaway was announced; almost 24 million hits since Sunday's Super Bowl commercials.
- Average wait time for Grand Slams was approximately fifteen to thirty minutes.
- Tables were turned approximately every fifteen minutes.
- Denny's was a top ten trending topic on Twitter for Grand Slam Day and during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.
- Close to 300,000 have already registered for the new Denny's Rewards program. The first 500,000 people who sign up will receive a Free Burger and Fries.
When advertising your event, regardless of medium, focus on selling your event. Don’t make entertainment a goal of your advertising. Tie every ad for your event into bottom line result. Make your event advertising and investment, not an entertainment expense.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- David Ogilvy on Direct Response Marketing
- Measuring Advertising Effectiveness
- Advertising and Marketing that Sells
- Providing Massive Value in Your Marketing and Advertising