If I spend this money … will it sell my product?

“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting you buy the product.” quote from David Ogilvy, considered ‘the father’ of advertising.

Advertising is about sales.  Period. 

No one should spend a dime on advertising that doesn’t come back as a dollar.”  That quote is my own, and one I have been repeating for several decades.  Otherwise why spend money on buying ad space?

As clear as that seems to me, and hopefully to you, it is not always representative of what I have seen in the business world.  It is not unusual for a client to get all caught up in where the photo shoot is, or who chooses the models or which of his/her favorite magazines will be chosen in the ad buy – and lose focus on selling the product.  On a personal level I have never understood flying models and a camera crew to Tahiti when a Florida beach would do just fine, or for that matter is a photo shoot even necessary? Like the wonderfully creative ad above with the dog- it gets your attention, sends the message and I am certain it worked!

It’s about the customer!  Ogilvy knew that intuitively and my favorite Ogilvy quote goes like this:

When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing each of them a letter on behalf of your client. One human being to another, second person singular.”

There is no fixed formula for a marketing budget – definitions and percentages vary widely, frequently and without reason at time.  As the Internet brings us to a place where accountablility is everything and standardization begins to take form – we are definetly headed in the right direction asking the right question:  If I spend this money will it help my company?

At the end of the day, and this column, Ogilvy also had this to say:

The best way to improve the sale of a product is to improve the product.”

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