"The Consumer is Not an Idiot. She is Your Wife."

Years later, this mantra of ad great David Ogilvy still rings true. Award-winning creative and chairman of Droga5, Dave Droga did an interview with WSJ. Magazine this past weekend and had some good insights into today’s marketing landscape. Droga’s agency was behind the UNICEF Tap Project and the hilarious Great Schlep campaign video with Sarah Silverman, convincing Jewish Obama supporters to visit their grandparents in Florida and sway their votes.

Here are some gems from the article:

  • “The key to good advertising is knowing when to talk to the customer and when not to.” His point being marketing needs to be much more of a 2-way conversation with your customers – so you need to stop talking and shut up and listen every now and again to create a relevant brand. Advertising has moved beyond nice, neat digestable, 1-way 30-second spots or print ads to campaigns that are much more interactive and conversational.
  • On David Ogilvy’s famous quote: Companies need to understand what role their brand plays in people’s lives and not assume customers can or need to be spoon-fed something inauthentic. From my agency days, I loved when execs were afraid that the campaign was “too smart” for their audience and they wouldn’t “get it.” Even if the profile/demo of their audience clearly showed us that they would.
  • On not wanting an “agency style:” His point being he didn’t want to create a cookie-cutter Droga style that would make clients say, “Do for me what you did for X brand.” This just means you are borrowing someone else’s brand even if it does not fit you. “Eventually you end up giving everyone else fake versions of someone else’s DNA,” he says. Yes, we all want the success of Apple’s brand. But – tough love for companies who think all this takes iss slick advertising – we are not all living, eating and breathing the Apple motto and playbook inside and out – everything from products to R&D to policies to new hire requirements. You just can’t fake it. Or you can, but only for so long and then people get mad.
  • “Online is amazing, but it is not in itself a solution:” The interactive dialogue can be fantastic but you can’t always transfer marketing for other mediums onto the web. His point is that with all that opportunity, there is also the opportunity to be more annoying to people online. “Online” or “social media” is not a strategy; they are channels, or elements of the overall plan to reach your audience. And they need specific campaigns and creative that adapt to that channel and adapt to how information is consumed by your audience.
  • The “Human Response:” Droga says, regardless of the medium, the question you should ask with any marketing is “What response do I want with this? What emotion do I want to elicit?” So many businesses start with ideas for tactics first (I want a TV ad, I want a microsite, etc.) and don’t think about what they actually want to achieve with each tactic, what action do they want the audience to take? Sometimes, the best approach is a simple one and if you have a clear response/emotion in mind, you can simplify your message and make it much, much more powerful.

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