Hard-hitting advertising is back!!! And it’s 50% cheaper than before!!!

we love hard-hitting advertising. not everyone in advertising does. which i’ve always found odd. the best ads are ALWAYS the ones that hit hardest. the ones that don’t beat about the bush. yet a lot of advertising folks think it’s uncool to overtly sell something. and so waste billions of dollars beating around bushes.

the best recent example of hard-hitting advertising is the current Apple campaign. It’s hardcore competitive. And it mercilessly takes advantage of the PC’s glaring problems. it’s interesting that the “cool one” (apple) is getting the last laugh on the nerds: microsoft and dell. because at the end of the day, presentation matters. how your product looks and feels is trumping mere code and widgets. and the apple advertising is brilliant. it takes advantage of everything that’s gone before it and how we all feel about apple right now.

and one of the reasons it’s brilliant is that it’s not hiding behind anything. it’s not the usual gag with tag. it is selling hard from second one of each commercial.

we at the escape pod dig it. advertising shouldn’t be embarrassed about selling things. TV advertising sort of kinked advertising into being almost too precious about entertaining people rather than selliing to them. entertainment took precedent over selling. and that was wrong.

the best advertising doesn’t beg for your attention. it confidently assumes it.


2 responses to “Hard-hitting advertising is back!!! And it’s 50% cheaper than before!!!

  1. Interesting cultural difference Vinnie.
    When I was in the States people liked hard sell ads.
    When I came back to the UK people hated them.
    I think this is because Americans want you to get to the point and, if they’re not interested, they have no problem saying no.
    Brits would feel terribly impolite saying no, therefore they cringe at being sold to.
    I found the same thing doing cold-calling on phones in both countries, Americans were much less resistant.
    That’s why BBH has the motto, ‘we don’t sell anything, we allow people to buy’.
    That’s why I get such greif for hard sell advertising over here.

  2. Dave,

    Yes, selling is nothing to be ashamed of over here. Unlike the UK. it took me a while to get used to it.

    but some of the best hard-selling stuff was done in the UK. a lot of it by yourself and Steve Henry IMHO. Blackcurrant tango being a great example. And Diet Tango (you need it because you’re weak). that was direct marketing!

    I think what happened over here was that the robust hardselling strategies of the 60s and 70s were (FedEx, Volvo etc) replaced by “doing something funny on the TV”. which dulled the strategic abilities of a lot of agencies.

    hard selling advertising somehow got tainted as being tacky and uncool. which is completely wrong.

    TV comedy became everyone’s “strategy”. but a lot of it wasn’t very pointed comedy. or very strategic. and it was often the default even when it wasn’t appropriate.

    i’m guessing the economic situation will bring back the hard sell like it did in the 70s. I hope it does.

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