Debunking Ad Myths

Creating communication/conversation between brands and people is advertising. From motivation for staying fit with ‘Just Do It’ to killing the hunger in just ‘2 Minutes’, advertising leaves a strong mark in the lives of people. And hence the responsibility is huge.

Advertising comes with numerous myths and debunking these myths is today’s need of the hour, so that we can move on from the age-old perceptions to some more contemporary discussions.

  • The AD world is manipulative and misleading: Manipulation and misinformation have never been able to survive for long. Today we are sitting in the 21st century where the world is more virtual than real. Any information you that want, can be fetched by the click of a button, even if it’s lying hidden with Satan. Said that all clients and advertising agencies today believe in ‘honesty is the best policy’. Of course, some exceptions are there but unethical people exist in all spaces and are not industry specific.
  • Only some businesses require advertising: You must have heard this age-old saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’. And some of you must’ve also experienced it sourly in a long distant relationship, hopefully not from the receiving end. Just like that ‘Advertising’ works universally across all spectrum for businesses, companies and products. The trick is to choose one, an advertising partner, with prowess. A very learned man once quoted, “Doing a business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”
  • Advertising is ‘a long-term plan’: No. Advertising today, just like your phone, has evolved with time. What’s important is to know is, if you’ve evolved with it or not. What one needs to be aware of are the challenges of a business and their ‘best’ solutions and the right media vehicle. For example, a Digital approach can help you generate 100 viable leads for your ‘online courses’ in short span of a month when you need to show your business partner the value you can bring to the table. But consistent ads in the newspaper over a span of time can help you with a better pull strategy taking up your lead generation by almost 60%.
    So while you will use your phone for taking brilliant pictures to capture special moments, but you still need a classic camera to teach you the art of photography.
  • Products that are not selling require Advertising: True. Advertising can help sell products that are not selling. And probably the lack of advertising is one of the reasons for the slack. BUT the businesses/products that are happy-selling today, need advertising more. Not to sell but to sustain their sale. Or better said, to sustain their position in the hearts of the people – because at the end of the day ‘all purchases are an emotional decision’.
  • Advertising creates needs: Advertising ‘caters’ to needs. It may preempt a need, but it cannot create a need. What good advertising works on is something called the ‘insight’. The brains at work are able to deep dive into human behavioural patterns and figure out the challenges faced by potential customers. The solutions in the form of product/service are contextual and based on a ‘brand’s purpose’ in the life of the people. This purpose is either filling some gap or adding to their lives.
  • Sex sells: Just like movies, advertising is also based on cultural momentum. It’s a reflection on the society we live in. Has advertising used ‘sex to sell’ in the past? Yes. But is it relevant in today’s time? Maybe but at a much lesser scale. Today’s context – sex is not a taboo anymore. sexual preference is a person’s personal affair, health is a priority today, fashion has created parity in society and men are as vulnerable as women today.
  • Creativity is the most important factor: ‘The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.’ – definition of creativity. Is it the most important thing in Advertising? Is it not the most important thing in any field? Having said that, in advertising/communication the most important thing is ‘relevance’. Making a beautiful/creative and which is not providing the correct message is useless. And every advertising professional understands this. Why so much emphasis is given to ‘creativity’ is the fact that most people don’t understand that a piece of communication has to aesthetically add to the environment that it is a part of. Else it becomes obtrusive. Look around you at all the ugly posters stuck on the walls, torn cloth banners hanging from poles and boring television phone commercials that all look the same with dancing youth and upbeat music. That’s why ‘creativity’. To do something that is not run of the mill, it’s different from what others are doing, a cohesive piece adding to the environment and not taking away from it and much more. And while it sounds like the most important thing, relevance still tops it.
  • Advertising costs so much: Advertising spends are a percentage of your projected annual sales. Advertising plan comes from your marketing budget and not the other way around. Advertising helps you grow your business, in turn increasing your sale. So, it’s safe to conclude that it’s a statement made by someone who is either not good at math or knows little about advertising’s importance and relevance for a business.