I recently attended a seminar about direct mail marketing, and was shown a video about a really cool mail piece this company had done that integrated mail, QR codes and your smartphone. It certainly was an interesting and unique piece, but when the video was done, I had no idea what the company was or what the product being sold was.
That got me thinking – you could have the coolest or funniest or most unique commercial or mail piece, but will it actually drive sales? Because in the end that’s the goal with you marketing – to get sales and make money.
Watching that video made me think of this Proctor and Gamble ad that ran during the past winter Olympics. It was a really emotional ad that showed mothers with their kids, helping them along as they train in their chosen sport, eventually becoming Olympians. The message was “thank you mom.” It was pretty sweet.
But does this ad actually make you want to go out and buy any of P&G’s products? I understand the importance of branding and I guess this ad is supposed to make us “feel” a certain way towards the P&G brand, which in theory would translate to sales. But when it comes down to it, I’m not going to buy their products because of this commercial. It got me a little choked up I’ll admit, but when I’m in the store looking for toothpaste, I’m not sure that I’ll remember this commercial because there was no toothpaste in it. Or really any product for that matter. Perhaps it would have been more effective if P&G products could have subtly been included: the mom washing the hockey uniform with a Tide bottle in the background or something like that.
Did this ad make you want to buy toothpaste?
Maybe this does work on some people. Maybe you will remember that good feeling you got watching this commercial when you’re in the grocery store, and reach for the P&G product over someone else. But I have to question the actual effectiveness of an ad when a) we don’t know what the product is or b) there is no product in the ad. Are we being cool just for the sake of being cool?
I can’t answer the question ‘is this ad effective or successful?’ Effectiveness of ads like these would need to be measured by looking at things like sales numbers or traffic to a website. It really all depends on what their goals were with this ad.
But it’s some food for thought when you’re creating an ad concept – how will you define effectiveness?