If you've driven through Atlanta - or perhaps throughout the South - you've seen large, attention-getting signs proclaiming (among other things) that someone has gas. ???
My husband was the first to observe this sign. As he drove along 285, he picked up his cell phone and reported, “I pooted. "
"That's nice, " I told him, once again rolling my eyes at his childish behavior. He called back five minutes later, heading north on Peachtree Industrial, to inform me, “My boogers itch. " It took some time for me to believe these were real signs and not just the raving of my husband, the fruit cake. (But he still does good work!)
Signs like this are springing all over the East coast, and a number of blogs laud them as ‘great marketing!’ There's only one problem - no one knows what, precisely, is being sold. My husband's first thought - and one others have expressed - was someone had won the lottery and decided to plaster these up to celebrate. I considered someone wanted a little humor on the drive home. We all need something to help lighten up the rush hour traffic.
The signs surely grab your attention. But are the effective marketing? I say, no.
I give Jay Conrad Levinson (of Guerrilla Marketing) so much publicity that you would think I was his publicity manager. What can I say, his books should be mandantory for small business owners. One point that he made in one of his books - I've read six or seven in the last month or so - was that ads that don't sell don't work. He specifically targeted the clever TV ads that we all remember, but whose brands we forget. If you only remember the commercial but forget the product, what is the point? It's not going to generate sales. He picked out the Energizer Bunny campaign as a great example of terrific marketing. I think Capital One and their pirates and villans also do a great job of marketing. But I have to give Cartoon Network's promo a big thumbs down.
It is amazing to me that more has not been written on the web concerning the lousy advertising. An article at Pilot Online.com says, and I quote, “Most adults won't recognize the campaign's catchphrases". It goes on to quote Cartoon Network spokesman Joe Swaney as saying, “"but kids will know that that's a character line. "
So billboard advertising has moved to the 6-12 year old crowd? Most kids I know in that age range are too busy playing their video games or watching tv while driving to look out the window.
I can see the ads marketing towards kids, but they are going to hit more adults. I don't understand placing kids advertising on billboards any more than I would understand Gillette razor commercials on Cartoon Network (though for all I know, they run them; I never watch). You aren't going to hit your target audience that way.
Cartoon Network does have one chance of redemption. Apparently these billboards are going to be followed in six weeks by more precise targeting. What I have to wonder is if a link will be developed. Will they just rely on the fact that everyone driving by will be snickering at “I pooted" and be suddenly hit with an ad for a cartoon show? I don't evision my husband, for instance, glancing at CN's precise board more than once. Or will they continue with their absurd mantra so that my husband (and, yes, I admit, myself) will continue to get a kick out of the crude sayings?
The point is, when creating an ad, you should let the viewer/reader/listener know what is being sold, or at least who is doing the selling. If CN had added a simple line or slogan to the very bottom of their signs, I would call this good advertising. I have to give it marks for grabbing - and retaining - attention. But I'm not sure it will help with sales (or viewing), and isn't that the purpose of marketing?
Nola Redd maintains a blog for small business owners , an outgrowth of her own wiring business in Atlanta. She is a freelance writer. She steadfastly maintains that her boogers *never* itch.
This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.Facsimile.Com/ which is a site for Fax Machines .