Another testament to the power of a fully integrated marketing message.
I was watching a television commercial for a luxury automobile the other day. It was your typical standard fare as far as car advertisements go. Rolling hills, a beautiful backdrop, a sports sedan buffed to perfection and the sound of the engine humming through nature. You could close your eyes and imagine yourself there. It happens. As standard and traditional as some advertising may seem, on any given moment it can suck you in. Sometimes it has less to do with the creative and much more to do with the mindspace that the consumer is in when the message happens across their synapses.
This was one of those moments.
While I didn't yearn to be the proud owner of this automobile, the scenery sucked me in. I closed my eyes and thought about my upcoming vacation. It felt good. I caught myself having this feeling and found myself wondering when was the last time I felt this way about a brand in the social media channels? When was the last time that a consumer review or someone with social capital... or even a brand advocate helped me connect with a brand in a ways that enraptured my imagination? That doesn't really happen... does it?
Great advertising does many things that social media will never compete with.
Stories come in all shapes and sizes. To say that one form of media dies because something different comes along is way off base. What this commercial reminded me, is that advertising does something that social media has yet to do: fosters a sense of persuasion through imagination. Social media is very practical and powerful. It helps us get critical information and opinions from those we know, like and trust. It's very rare that a recommendation - on anything - inspires your imagination. That it suspends your reality and takes you on an adventure.
I'm not an advertising advocate.
Please don't confuse this blog post with a message that advertising is the best way to reach a consumer. It's just one way... now in a world of many ways. Each brand will have to figure out their own formula for success. I often tell people that marketing, branding and advertising is like a sink with a faucet. Each brand will have to figure out how much to turn the hot and cold handles until it gets the water to the right temperature. Or, as Seth Godin likes to say, "your mileage may vary." I'm sure there are many brands who think that social media holds all of the answers to their success... and I'm equally certain that there are many brands who think that traditional advertising still consistently outperforms digital media and drives sales. I'm sure there are arguments for and against both of those statements as well.
Don't belittle the power of unleashing the imagination.
Sure, digital media will have you clicking and sharing some jaw-dropping creative executions, but there's something about watching a story (even a small one, like an ad) and just allowing yourself to get lost in it as your imagination roams. Think of it as stopping to smell the roses... in an advertising kind of way. It was a nice feeling... it was a feeling that I haven't had in a long time, and it's not the type of feeling I ever get in a flurry of online social networking tabs, updates, comments, pings and more.
It's something to think about...