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Susan Allen Bob Hoffman was the keynote speaker at the 2014 European conference of AdvertisingWeek:
by Susan Allen, click here for bio

Program: American Rancher
Date: August 19, 2014

Let me give you an example of that: the old-fashioned telephone. Everyone in the world had a telephone. It was a hugely popular means of communication. That didn't make it a good advertising medium. It was a lousy advertising medium. The fact that people us it for communication or to get information or to have conversations doesn't necessarily make something a good advertising medium."



Pepsi's Digital Screw-Up

 The simple truth is that most products and services require that their ads be encountered again and again.

Pepsi has been a household word since before we were born, so why do they keep advertising? Couldn't they reduce their mass media spending and still maintain their sales volume?

In a word, no.

We know this because Pepsi tried it.

"In 2010, Pepsi cancelled all its TV advertising and its Superbowl advertising to great fanfare and bet BIG on the largest experiment in social media marketing ever attempted, 'The Pepsi Refresh Project." TIME magazine quoted the CEO of a New York brand consultancy, 'This is exactly where Pepsi needs to be. These days brands need to become a movement.' Well, they became a movement all right. I estimate The Refresh Project cost them between 50 and 100 million dollars. It got them 3.5 million Facebook likes and a 5% loss in market share, which they seem to have never recovered. That year, they dropped from the second best-selling soft drink in the US to third. Pepsi's marketing director said, 'The success has been overwhelming. We have more than doubled our Facebook fans. We have more than 24,000 Twitter fans.' The L.A.Times didn't see to agree. They called it 'a stunning fall from grace.'"

Hoffman went on to say that TV and Radio are best at creating demand, while the web is terrific at fulfilling demand. Bob Hoffman's response reflected his 40 years of experience directing ad campaigns for McDonald’s, Toyota, Shell, Nestle, Blue Cross, Chevrolet and Bank of America:



Advertisers often ask, "How many times does the average person have to see or hear my message before it will be transferred into the automatic recall part of the mind?" Although this seems like a reasonable question, it's a little bit like asking, "How many ounces of alcoholic beverage does it take for the average person to get drunk?" We can't really answer that question until we know whether the "ounces of alcoholic beverage" are beer with 5% alcohol, wine with 14% alcohol, or Scotch with 45% alcohol.

How strong are your ads?

The stronger your ads, the fewer times they have to be heard. And even then, as Pepsi learned, the customer will sober up and forget you if you leave them thirsty long enough.

Strong ads are created by strong writers.

How many do you have working for you?

Roy H. Williams



PS - We're going to look much, much deeper into all this during today's session of Wizard of Ads LIVE (Aug. 11, 2014) Details are available at www.RHW.com


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