advertising is not alchemy

rabbit from a hat

They’re words I dread:

“And then they download the widget / send the clip
to their friends / visit the microsite / sign up for the
newsletter / etc.”

One question: Why?

Why will they do that?

Why will they pay attention long enough to understand that’s what you expect them to do?

And more critically, why would they even care?

Advertising isn’t alchemy; you can’t just expect results to ‘happen’.

The only reason people do things is because they perceive a clear, personal benefit in doing so.

And all too often, we’re not offering our audiences any benefit at all.

We get all excited about the new technologies and gimmicks we’re using in the campaign, but that doesn’t mean our audiences will pay any attention.

Chances are, they’ve got much better things to do.

So, stop trying to work out what people should do.

Rather, work out why they might care.

In other words, identify your communications proposition: the single, clear benefit that people receive simply by engaging with your communications.

Advertising is only a means to an end; it’s not an end in itself.


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