Posting Dates:

June 2010
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Ice Cubes, Eskimos and Advertising

A man wakes up in his Ikea bedroom, pulls on his Nike’s, eats his Kellogg’s cereal, drinks his Starbucks, checks his Blackberry, blows his nose with a Kleenex, brushes his teeth using Colgate toothpaste, jumps in his Audi, listens to his Sirius satellite radio on his way to work where he tells an advertising agent that advertising doesn’t work.   Go figure.

I’m sure that thousands of portable MP3 players are available on the market but one company has sewn up the market almost completely and made millions and millions of dollars because they are perceived as the cool MP3 player that everyone wants.  Therefore, no other player really exists in the mind of the consumer.

The cool factor is responsible for the success in a large number of brands.  When I was a kid in school, all of the kids had to have the Polo Ralph Lauren logo on their shirt or they weren’t cool.  Since then, many brands are well established and have their name positioned front and center on the product, worn proudly as a brand that somehow reflects who the people are when it comes to an image or style.

We can all buy Tylenol or a no-name brand acetaminophen – but most of us choose the brand that has established a confidence level with us and we do pay more for that confidence.  Why do you buy what you buy?  Take notice of what you buy, where you buy and why you might actually buy it and I believe that you’ll be able to draw a line between those reasons and some sort of advertising message that helped form those decisions in your mind.

I once interviewed a guy for the position of Sales Manager who asked me if I felt a great salesperson could sell anything to anyone – Absolutely, I said. He disagreed and said that you can’t sell ice cubes to Eskimos. He didn’t get the job. You can sell ice cubes to Eskimos but first you have to figure out what will motivate them to buy – perhaps your cubes are purified, imported or taken from artesian wells, conveniently packaged or maybe just made in a cool shape. Perhaps your ice cubes are designed based on a whole new way of thinking – made from Nordic rocks that retain the cold better than cubes made from water with the added benefit that they don’t water down your drink. Just because Eskimos enjoy cold weather throughout much of the year doesn’t mean they don’t have a need for quality ice in their scotch or clean ice conveniently delivered to their home.

Advertising is like a silent salesperson working for you to persuade people to hold your product or service in high regard and choose it over any other. A creative medium that can be most effective when people don’t see the sales pitch coming – instead they see some really cool ice cubes made from rocks. Advertising does work. It needs a plan and some good decisions, good copy, good design, some smart buying and the right audience but advertising does work – and it doesn’t have to break the bank to be effective. How long can your business wait before you do some good advertising? Get on it.          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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