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Monday, March 8, 2010


Double. Entendre.

One of the most crucial factors in determining whether an advertising campaign will be wildly successful or fall flat on its face is originality. Step back for a moment and imagine a consumer atmosphere where all media reached all audiences and where products’ benefits and attributes were negligibly different. What matters most in advertising would be the ability of a product’s message to ‘stick’ in a consumer’s mind more than its competitors when they walk up to the shelf and make a choice. So in advertising, give the consumer something they’ll remember more than the other choices. Easy, right? Sure it is. . . Until everyone else starts to copy it.

A recent noticeable trend in the media is to use of adianoeta. It’s kind of like a multi-meaning, for example, a combination of words or even an entire phrase which could be interpreted in more than one way. For the record, any examples from here on out are fabricated and any likeness, copyrighted or trademarked, is strictly coincidence.

Say you make healthy fruit juice and you want to be original and you come up with a genius advertising campaign. “Drink. Healthy.” It’s so simple. It’s modern. The phrase contains a command: Drink. It tells you in brief about the product: it’s healthy. The brevity of the phrase implies how simple the choice is. Manipulate them how you wish, such phrases are economic knockouts! Instead of a single tagline which means one thing to everyone. It lends itself to the subjectivity to mean whatever the receiver wants it to mean.

But when things start cooking, everyone wants a piece of that pie. Copy cats reproduce everything! If any idea or product can be tweaked, twisted, or transformed and resold, someone’s going to do it. Just walk into a gas station and count the varieties of energy drinks in the coolers. How many social networking sites can you think of off the top of your head? Exactly. Even advertisers copy advertisers.

It won’t be long before adianoeta ads reach markets they shouldn’t. The worst copy cats take a great idea and un-improve on it. Imagine a book store stating the obvious, “Read. Books.” or a dollar store soliciting an unenlightening slogan “Cheap. Stuff.”

So when is it time for the original creator to start getting creative again? It’s when the state and federal governments get their hands on it. Federally protected wilderness reserves need to increase revenues by attracting more visitors (however that works). Here’s what you might see on their next campaign banners: “Visit. National. Wild. Life. Park. Facilities. Today.” It amounts to nothing more than tacky noun-stacking separated by periods. Leave it to them to take someone’s hard-earned tax dollars and flush them down the “what-worked-for-fruit-juice-will-surely-work-for-floundering-government-properties” toilet.

Now go! Walk confidently with your. Marketing. Savvy. Mind!

By: S. Cole Garrett


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