Taken from the Blog of Daniel Cawdron, CEO & Creative Director of Discourse Agency
The great irony of marketing and advertising at the moment? It has a PR problem.
Look back to the 'golden age' of advertising portrayed in Mad Men (unless you happen to be a female ad exec). Slick men with suits and cigarettes creating emotive copy and stunning visuals to reach out to the audience. There was an emotion to advertising, a familiarity, a level of trust. The man behind the billboard wasn't trying to sell you something, he wanted to make you fall in love.
And god was it brilliant.
Now we look at a lot of modern advertising, not for established brands but locally and regionally, and it all seems so cold. Prices and offers pop up from your computer screen and on your television and on your radio - "free this, half price that, buy this and get that, buy, buy! BUY!"
You don't love these companies or their products, you don't even trust them. The man behind the advert cooing sweet nothings in your ear from the golden age is now the slick car salesman telling you if you don't sign the papers today those free floor mats won't be free any more. Advertising is not dead, it exists everywhere and we are still constantly bombarded with it, but the candle was made obsolete long ago and that's still a booming business, ask Yankee.
The most successful companies of this century did not reach their heights by climbing up a mountain of millions spent on mass market advertising. Starbucks, Google, Tesla, Amazon, hell even The Body Shop, none of these companies advertised during their meteoric growth because their meteoric growth came on the back of perception, of publicity, of PR.
The most successful adverts of recent times have not come from an angle of creating credibility, or driving sales, it has come from credible sources reminding us of their existing reputation, or just reminding us that they exist. I personally cannot wait for this year's John Lewis advert. I can't remember the last time I went in a John Lewis but I assume it's a good experience.
Now, more than ever, build the publicity of your business through a medium of trust, create your brand with honesty and then, once you have us on your side, don't be afraid to shout about yourself.
But make me love you before you make me buy something.
CEO & Creative Director