Advertising Strategy & Tactics Professor S.J. Grant Spring 2006 BUYER BEHAVIOR, MARKETING 3250
Outline • Evaluating advertising • Strategy • Is advertising on strategy? • Tactics • How well is it executed? • Executions • Structural • Stylistic
Advertising Strategy • Reach vs. frequency • Reach: how many people see advertising • Frequency: how many times each person sees advertising • Which is better?
Advertising Strategy • Points of parity vs. points of difference • Points of parity • Category benefits • Points of difference • Brand benefits • Which is better?
Advertising Strategy • Executions • “The Big Idea” • “Hard Sell” vs “Soft Sell” • Story grammar
Big Idea • What is the “big idea”? • Distilling your central message or concept to a few key words • Example: Subway is about a healthy fast-food alternative • Jared • Low number of fat grams • Eat fresh • Being “good”
Hard Sell • What is the hard sell? • Presenting the compelling benefits of an idea, a product, or a service • Urges the consumer to take action • Characteristics • A hard sell would list specific items and sale prices • Make specific, actionable offers
Soft Sell • What is the soft sell? • It says "Welcome, come look around. Get a feel for who we are and how we can help you." • Characteristics • Soft sell advertisement might sell the look and feel of a store • Doesn’t encourage immediate purchase
Story Grammar • Drama is used to illustrate a problem, episodes to address problem and outcome • Often use extreme situations to illustrate the problem
Symbols & Meaning • Advertising communication relies on meaning, which threads events and objects into an interdependent scheme • Meaning comes from • Self-awareness • Self-definition • Advertising – and consumption – is symbolic of human aspiration
Symbols & Meaning • Visual and figurative language of advertising is deliberately chosen to convey a subliminal message in addition to the central message • Thematic inferences are code for whom the product is intended
Thematic Inferences • Gender • Women are communal – “Isn’t it hot?” • Men are goal-directed – “Turn on the AC” • Social class • Upscale value distinction, tradition • Middle class prefer order, organization • Working class seek functionality, value
Thematic Inferences • How are themes communicated? • Visual cues that are imbued with meaning • Colors • Browns, greens, earth tones communicate aridity, masculinity; primary colors imply childishness • Reverse type • Implies • Phallic symbols • Connote power, strength, dominance technical expertise
Thematic Inferences • More visual cues • Fonts • Bold, block type implies FUNCTIONALITY • Italic type communicates VELOCITY • Serif type conveysformality • Black and white • Conveys seriousness, drama, journalistic veridicality • Proximity • Close-ups imply intimacy, personal relevance
Thematic Inferences • More cues • Film allusions • Literary references • Orwell’s “1984” • Biblical figures • Samsonite • Adam & Eve • Mythology • Historical events
Examples in Advertising • IBM • Masculine, traditional, organized • Apple • Feminine, friendly, alternative • Marlboro • Arid, strong, independent, frontier • Harley-Davidson • Rugged individuality, nonconformist, testosterone
Layering of Meaning • Meanings are layered to create a unique brand impression • Many layers of meaning add to the complexity of the brand, which can become a point of differentiation • Layering also allows a brand to communicate how a concrete attribute can map into an abstract benefit
Example 1: Ivory soap Name Plain, white bar Advertising emphasizes purity Product is gently cleansing Advertising features the chaste, clean-cut “Ivory girl” Example 2: Coca-Cola Name is a bubbly concoction of sounds Curvaceous, hand-fitting bottle is informal, classic Cursive script of brand logo conveys sense of flowing abundance Times of relaxation, fun are primary usage occasions Red is associated with joy, passion, vigor Layering of Meaning
Layering of Meaning • Resemblance? How do scripts differ?