Three Advertising Fallacies and How to Avoid Them

Advertising Fallacies

Advertising Fallacies

When you use a logical fallacy, the only thing that suffers is your argument. But when you use an advertising fallacy? What suffers is your bottom line.

An advertising fallacy is simply a myth about advertising, a “truism” that, over time, has not always proven to be totally true. Sometimes, an advertising fallacy can be as simple as a basic assumption a business owner makes about the world of advertising. If you make these assumptions yourself, you do so at your own peril.

Let’s take a look at some common advertising fallacies, and what you can do to avoid them.

Advertising Fallacy #1: A Good Product Sells Itself

We all know about the story of Sriracha Chili sauce, a brand so popular that it grew to “world-famous” proportions without spending a dime on advertising or marketing—instead, the company relied solely on word of mouth to expand its customer base.

Is the story true? Sure. But does that mean your company will get by the same way? Chances are, the Sriracha story is actually the exception to the rule rather than the rule.

In other words, what’s true for Sriracha is not necessarily true for your company.

Avoiding this fallacy is simple: you need to think about the potential impact that good advertising and marketing can have on your company. Instead of taking a passive approach (trusting the customer to do your advertising for you), you need to take the active approach (trusting yourself to do the advertising right).

That’s a simple way of saying that if you want more customers, word-of-mouth is not the only avenue available to you.

Advertising Fallacy #2: There’s No Competing with Bigger Brands

Advertising is kind of like the battlefield of business—companies are competing with one another directly for their market’s attention. Yes, it can be difficult to compete with companies that have unlimited advertising budgets. But like an outnumbered army, that doesn’t mean that your days are necessarily numbered.

Quantity is only one variable in the battle for attention; the quality of your ads is something else that is entirely within your control.

Yes, you may have to pick your battles if you have a limited advertising budget. And that’s not always an easy thing to do—you want to make sure you’re making the most of your budget as possible. But if your advertising is good, with good written copy and a unique brand concept, then you always stand a chance at catching the attention of your target customers.

Advertising Fallacy #3: People Are Listening

One of the most common mistakes most advertisers make? They think that people are listening to them.

But ask yourself the last five advertisements you heard. Can you even remember one?

Chances are, you weren’t really listening to the ads on the radio or on TV. And if you can’t remember advertisements, why should your target audience remember every little detail you have to tell them?

The simple truth in today’s advertising environment is that people are not listening, and they’re not lining up to give your product a chance. Your advertising campaign has to start with an attention hook: something that will grab peoples’ attention so that you can then proceed with your message.

If you don’t hook your audience first, the content of your advertisement—even the quality of your product—won’t’ matter much. You’ve got to hook interest, and that starts with acknowledging the fact that people simply aren’t listening.

You’ve got to encourage them to listen.

Get a Step Ahead of the Competition

Simply learning these three fallacies can be a great boost to your advertising dollar. But there are other ways to get an advantage on the competition. REDBOOKS has been offering the competitive advertising intelligence businesses need to ensure that they stretch their advertising dollar and make the most of their marketing opportunities.

Start a FREE Trial of REDBOOKS today and you’ll see exactly what your own company is capable of.

I Almost Had a Job at the Ad Agency, But…

When you’re researching your dream advertising job, make sure your resources are accurate!

At Red Books, we’re obsessed with keeping our advertisers and agencies directory accurate. Every day, we update the available information. We employ multiple processes to keep our data as up to date as humanly possible… it’s a busy job, especially when you consider the numbers of companies we maintain.

We have to stay on top of the constant changes in the advertising and agency space; people rely on this information for several reasons. For example, a recent review of our web presence revealed that hundreds of library and college organizations mention Red Books in conjunction with finding an advertising job. We’re quoted as a resource for research articles, competitive intelligence and more. Not that we’re complaining, but that’s a lot of pressure!

Researching Your Target Advertising Agency

Few in the highly competitive arena of advertising simply “fall” into the industry. When advertising first got its start, all you needed was a good idea. Now, researching advertising firms, their backgrounds, the industries they target and their available positions goes a long way towards improving your chances of finding a job.

Think about it. With the thousands of advertising agencies in the U.S. alone, how do you know which ones you want to work for? Do you just pick one and jump in? And if you do, how do you know who to talk to for the position? Some of the bigger agencies recruit at colleges, of course – but what are the chances you can attend those colleges?

Then again, many of you may already have a hero in the ad world and a specific medium you want to get into. Maybe you’re looking for an agency that goes out of its way to create unusual advertisements… Whatever it is you’re looking for – what are the chances of “falling” into that agency, type of work or medium?

In March of 2010, a freelance speech writer shared her story of hunting for the perfect job. Apparently, she’d been looking for at least a year when she spoke with a recruiter about a position. While she didn’t take the job for reasons of her own, she did listen to his advice. Continue reading

Advertising to the Generations: When X Doesn’t Meet Y

Have you ever tried to explain how Facebook works to a person over the age of 75? Or what a rotary phone is to a person under the age of 20? There are huge differences between the generations that brands aim to reach today, and some of those differences present problems for advertisers and the agencies that represent them.

Who Makes Up Each Generation?

Counting the oldest consumers down to the youngest, there are 6 generations to be taken into account:

Pre-Depression Generation - Pre-1930

Silent Generation - 1930-1945

Baby Boomers - 1946-1964

Generation X - 1965-1977

Generation Y - 1977-1994

Generation Z - 1995-Present

Continue reading