It’s just three weeks old and already they’ve started on it. The abuse, the gut wrenching blame, the righteous indignation, aimed to break and destroy. It should never have been born, it’s conception was a mistake and it’s existence is already in question. Hide it, put it back in a box and bring it back out only when it becomes necessary. Neglect it, don’t spend time or money on it, that is until you are desperate or on your last breath.

We refer of course to ‘Advertising’

As you read this blog, somewhere in Australia a CEO will be sitting with his or her marketing manager bolicking the hell out of him or her and asking why the recent expensive ad campaign did so badly and cost so much?. Sadly the bloodied and battered marketing exec will emerge with their derry air kicked and no answers. And as unfair as we know that is it is the reality of the day.

Most, not all, but most CEO’s or senior management are simply not switched on to what advertising is about Left brain managers, business owners and executives all have completely unrealistic ‘great expectations’. I can hear the executive choir from here, chanting their favorite canticle, “You bet your bloody life we do!”

The abuse of advertising per sa is not created by poor perception, it is predicated on ignorance and the inability to understand the foundations of advertising relative to results.

There can be so many reasons why ads fail and sometimes they only appear to fail. Let’s take the great 2013 Vic Rail success ‘Dumb Ways to Die’. If you haven’t seen it, head for Youtube and simply type in ‘Dumb Ways to Die’. It’s won every ad award from Cannes to New York it’s a raging success, but has it saved a life? We don’t know and we never will. My question is what would have happened if it had not been an award winner, what if it never scored a gong, what if only 200,00 people hit it up on youtube? Would it be any the less effective?

What I’m willing to bet is that if it went awardless, with only 200,000 hits instead of the 2 to 3 million it received it would have been called a waste of money? It may have saved some of the 200,000 lives of those who watched it, but Mr. manager will never know.

Expectations of advertising should be metered by understanding why they are made. A brand campaign will not deliver immediate incremental sales and a offer campaign can simply fall on its backside because the product is undesirable.

Advertising has so many twists and turns and involves a powerful smorgasbord of disciplines. Before you jump the gun and make a judgement about your advertising… get advise.