Bad Advertsing Defined

By admin

This is the inaugural post for the Bad Advertising category. Papa Riah is an advertising expert and as such is often disgusted by the large amounts of money spent on terrible ad campaigns. I guess you could say it is a hobby of mine to critique ads, especially television commercials and multi-media campaigns designed by ad agencies. So I expect to be putting up many posts in this section. We should probably start by defining exactly what makes a good ad verses a bad ad.

The purpose of advertising is twofold: Product recognition (also known as branding) and/or to create appeal for the product or service. New products on the scene need to do this right -because often they have everything tied up in the initial ad campaign, and if they don’t start generating sales immediately the business could fail. So they need to concentrate mainly on creating appeal and worry about making themselves a household name after they become profitable.

Established products sold by large corporations are another matter. Everybody knows them already so it’s mainly a battle for small percentage points of market share. This is the type of advertising that often shoots at the entertainment angle, and very often misses it miserably. Even if the ad manages to be entertaining, the people who remember the ads (and laugh about them around the water cooler) usually couldn’t even tell you what product they were for. That is a disaster and the company may as well have not spent the money on the advertising.

Companies allocating large budgets towards branding need to remember that the purpose is product awareness. It does no good to have half of America singing some jingle that doesn’t make them think about your brand name. Examples of good campaigns include Aflac and those Free Credit Report Dot Com commercials. Everybody who jokingly imitates these ads is repeating the product name, creating a sort of viral effect resulting in free advertising. And they are having a good time doing it!

I won’t give any examples of bad campaigns right now because those are going into individual posts. After all, that’s the whole purpose of this category. But rest assured those really stupid ads that drive us all crazy will get their due recognition, along with all the other bad tactics (like peddling sex for non-sexually related products, contributing to a further degradation of our society). We now pause for a word from my sponsors….

Papa Riah