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The Midweek Motivator – 12 Reasons For Ad Failure

As a very young exec in Dallas I had the thrill of learning from the iconic David Ogilvy (Ogilvy & Mather). Creator of epic campaigns, among his most revered principles proved that depending on creative treatment, your client’s commercial can be up to19 TIMES as effective as your competitor’s rendition! Today when asked about the importance of Ad or Promo creativity, we offer our programming clients multiple reasons for Ad or Promo shortfall; and they don’t change with the passage of time: 

  • Failing to understand that your copy’s opening headline is 80% of a commercial’s success (and it could be said, 80% of their Ad-spend)!
  • A client’s insistence on instant gratification. “I hope to see results next week.”
  • The fantasy that he or she can reach more people than their budget will allow.
  • Attempting to spray and pray: wide, as opposed to target accuracy.
  • A Seller’s surrender to the acceptance the Business or Ad Manager “knows best.”
  • Unsubstantiated claims within the copy. We refer to it as “the promise-performance gap.”
  • Poor use of alternative media such as the Yellow Book or ineffective Bus Panels.
  • Low grade copy; creating an “Ad” instead of a cinematic listener experience.
  • Insistence on late week scheduling. PPM destroyed this old fable.
  • Overuse of and reliance on event-dominated marketing. Events are fine; sustaining themed campaigns are better.
  • Great copy with poor production, or poor creative, well produced.
  • Confusing response “head-count” with target results.
  • Settling for an “order” instead of creating a strategic, sustaining, branding attack.
  1. How do you grade ad-creation across your market cluster? A_ B_ C_ D_
  2. How do you grade your production? A_ B_ C_ D_
  3. Who is responsible for your creative process? Seller_ Copywriter _ Production _ All 3 _
  4. Is there a culture for performance-pride vis-à-vis your competitors’ creative services?