Come on, ditch the carpet bombing

Phil Lynagh is regional  managing director at  Tag: MENA

“Does anyone honestly believe that the ‘carpet bombing’ ad marathons we have to watch during evening primetime are effective? Surely they can’t be, but media inefficiency is very hard to prove. There are plenty of formulae to increase frequency to gain reasonable GRP but I haven’t stumbled across one that says: “That’s it. Stop right there. Your brand is hacking the consumer off”.  And there should be.

Perhaps automatons would eat up this sort of ‘media hammering’ and respond accordingly by popping out to their local Foot Locker to buy yet another pair of adidas every time the X Factor goes into an ad break, but I don’t think the human species actually does. We get bored quite easily and we get annoyed even easier.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love TV advertising, it’s still the most efficient way to get your brand to the masses but we should consider creative engagement and conversation rather than beating somebody to death with a frequency stick. Surely we could try different executions, a developing story line perhaps? There’s a thin line between acceptance through recognition, and rejection through annoyance. Being seen 8,000 times during a 45 minute show is actually not a good thing, it’s a bad thing. The target audience eventually glazes over. And when the offending ad has become a nuisance then ‘Houston, we have a problem’. Excessive repetition is annoying.

So why are brands engaged in this type of relentless bombardment? Well, it’s lazy media planning or lazy media buying, or probably both. Time to cease and desist. We know where this excess comes from. We’ve all heard the classic, “If we spend $3 million instead of $2.5 million on primetime we get $300k worth of free spots which is awesome”.  The good news is those ‘free’ spots aren’t airing primetime so they won’t compound the error, the bad news is they all actually do air at 4 am on the Al Toss Network. Which boasts an audience of three primates and a reptile – all holed up in a North African zoo. Nice.”

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  1. Maroun Bakhos says:

    Dear Phil,

    Really glad to know that some people out there are actually still using there gray matter, it’s a good thing to use one’s gray matter, it’s what got us here, “here” was supposed to be good, but eversince most people stopped using their damn gray matter; “here” became a goofy place. However, just beg to disagree, “goofiness” started taking place one cell at a time in parallel and perfect sync on all 4 levels,
    1) Agencies (YES! Laziness, i’ll call that and raise you… IGNORANCE, don’t raise me coz I’ll go all in, trust me I know my hand’s a winner),
    2) Audience (they got what they deserved for forfeiting their voice, it used to be 20-ads/80-show and now it’s the other way around, won’t be so surprised when a TVC station will air one day, and I’m sure they won’t mind when property publishers will start selling spots on their DVDs),
    3) Suppliers (Full half: your only chance for extremely hot chicks to chase you everywhere, 24/7 and actually offer you cash. Empty half: they actually are the 3 primates and reptile in the North Africa zoo) and 4) Clients (Dear oh dear you are not near, not by a million light years, Houston cannot hear you, but you’re still shouting: “why you are sharjing me 10 bersent goumishin on aed500 to brint my pizniss cart?“ Well dear, instead of brain-raping your poor agency, 7-sense-harassing your not-in-a-million-years Target Effin Segment and trying to act smart by going to directly to suppliers… why don’t you save a couple of notes from the millions you’re flushing down the toilet every time you, sure out of desperation to meet the deadline you’ve set yourself, type the majestic sentence “approve, pls gohead send pooking order, burchase oder will sent to you soon”. Give those notes to the poor agency, let them go on an agency outing and have some fun, they might even invite you to come and finally get your chance to hit on the poor Filipina receptionist! ALL DUE RESPECT to Filipinas and receptionists).
    Among all 4, who’s guiltiest? I say all 4. Why? Not using the gray effin matter… that’s why!
    Just one more thing, quality would kick quantity’s ass anytime, not the cliché’ but gray-matter-quality, quality that renaissance Italy inspired a whole millennium with, quality which Archimedes used to discover buoyancy and “calculating it” just came in the manual, just like a nice 65” fullHD 3D IPTV with the manual at the bottom of the box, the quality of Newton’s apple… when you (not you Phil) can see the real virtue of quality then you know you are either extremely lucky, crazy, dead or back in the future.
    Advice for agency people, come on guys, use your brains, have some balls, stand a little straighter and STOP licking boots, and by the way… ASAFP means as soon as EFFIN possible… just play dumb and say that the soonest possible is in 4 weeks, what could go wrong? You’ll get fired? ma it’s gonna happen anyways, sooner or later, you’re only as good as your last piece of work! And the new agency is always more fit, bending over is even more bent over there and lube is still brand new wet!
    Over & out…

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