The Sticky Wall of Advertising Rules

1shovThere’s an abundance of crappy creative out there that’s figuratively flung at the wall of advertising to see what will stick.  agumIt’s up to a good marketing person to scrap the garbage off the wall.  So let’s start with a list of the old rules that we all have been told…You’re familiar with the list:

(a) Mention the product or name of the company at least three times (five, if you’re smooth).   

(b) You’ve gotta get that phone number in there.   

(c) End all of your pricing with “99” to fool the customer into thinking their product or service is cheaper.   

(d) Offer to beat any deal.   

(e) Guarantee impeccable service.   

(f) Boast about how long you’ve been in business.    

But wait…there’s more!

(g) We should come up with titles to our sales that fits in all the words that start with “S” we can think of. I like the “Super Summer Slamming Sizzling Sale of the Century”.

(h) Obnoxious things get people’s attention so find the alarm sound or a siren.

(i) Show the front of your store or some shots of your inventory and staff.   

(j) Let’s list multiple locations and the phone numbers for each.   

(k) If we can have some customers enjoying your product, that would be great too…and do you have a kid…maybe a dog?   

If we were to remove all the radio and TV commercials that have any of the elements we talked about here, could you imagine all the blank space available?   

A great strategy with a flawed execution will defeat a flawed strategy with an incredible execution every time.   Fluffy ads don’t fix problems.   Making the message salient is the one of the most important things.   What you say is more important then how loud or how many times you say it.   

Most marketers tend to avoid asking about the results because a negative response would mean more work.  They like to just go with the ‘old faithful’ and see what sticks to the wall of advertising.  Some of them will succeed just on pure luck or on low expectation of their clients.  Some of them will fail the clients and create more of the “I tried Advertising and it doesn’t work for me” crowd. 


Could you imagine an advertising person whose pay increased or decreased according to the results of the campaign annually?   That is like a doctor who won’t accept payment unless you are feeling better.   I’d listen to his advice!  Just a thought…

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