A full page ad promoting a Dow Jones service in today’s WSJ reinforces my table pounding that someone needs to proofread advertising copy before spending mid-six figures on placing ads into the real world.
The entire text reads : “Make customers stick like glue.” The first ‘message’ that my eyeballs transmitted to my brain was “Make customers sick..like glue.” This was after my first cup of coffee, so perhaps my brain wasn’t processing at the right setting. Then I looked at the ad again…same thing…I kept associating the ad with ‘make customers sick’…. To the extent that it captured my attention, the strategy worked. But the ad failed, simply because it delivered a negative context and completely turned me off to what the actual service being promoted was.
OK, lots of ads out there, and many are carelessly thought out. At the top of the careless advertising list was a recent highway billboard campaign executed by Bloomberg LP’s radio division. Placed smack dab on the busiest roadway in the heart of hedge fund country (Fairfield County, Connecticut), the billboard ad displayed an innocuous message “Check Your Pounds”…and a Bloomberg LP logo below. No radio station call signal displayed, no display of the company’s cable television channel #–absolutely nothing in the ad that would drive the viewer to tune his/her car radio to the Bloomberg station. Bizarre.
When I called up the head of advertising buying at Bloomberg in connection with another topic, and pointed out what I thought was a surprisingly poor marketing strategy, he thanked me profusely for making the observation, and he said that it wasn’t his decision in the first place t0 run or administer the billboard campaign. That billboard ad stayed in place for another 8 weeks and then it was replaced with an ad that displayed the radio call signal.