Why some advertising deserves bad reviews

Image showing words associated with good and bad customer service, presented by Words at Work copywriter Wolfgang Franke in his blog on small business marketing techniques such as social media advertising, Facebook advertising and web advertising.

There are many ways to advertise a product. Some good. Some bad. You never get it right every time. But there is no excuse for alarming advertising that is the equivalent of having a sharp stick poked into your eye. Most of these ads are just dumb, but a few literally enrage the prospect.

You will also see from the following two samples that sharp-stick-in-the-eye advertising is not limited to small start-up companies that don’t know better.

Take, for example, Subway Sandwiches, one of my favorite fast food stops. These guys do a lot of things right, yet they have just approved a reel of ads that defy explanation. The worst is the spot featuring a doctor and a patient. The doctor tells the patient he has bad news and the clear inference is that the patient is about to hear that he has a fatal disease. But wait – the doc is just kidding, and it is all OK because he has had Subway for lunch.

Say what? First they dredge up feelings of dread and then they laugh it off. Worse still, this spot is a classic example of an ad where the “creative” comes first and the product comes second. With better writing, better acting and better directing, it might have been possible to pull this off, but why waste time and money trying to beat life into a lame concept?

Here’s simple rule: if a concept is strong, it can be executed with minimal budget; if a concept is weak, you have to pour on the dollars to cover up the weak points, and even then you have only a small chance of success.

Read Wolfgang's latest marketing blog.

Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.

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