On the eve of the Super Bowl, Madison Avenue is all atwitter, excited for the annual unveiling of the greatest and most expensive ads of the year. On Monday morning, everyone will be talking about the ads; they may not be talking about the game, but they’ll definitely be talking about the ads.
Of course, most of those ads won’t sell a damn thing. The ROI on advertising is sinking fast. Sure, they entertain us, and unlike most other days of the year, we’ll actually watch the ads on Superbowl Sunday, rather than our usual habit of fast forwarding, glazing over, or clicking the X on the upper right.
Those Super Bowl ads, which cost $4 million for 30 seconds this year, will at least keep us watching. Not buying, but watching.
Here’s part of the problem – most advertising preys on people’s weaknesses. Much of the advertising out there is still designed to hit you where you are vulnerable. There are still plenty of vulnerabilities to exploit. Money, or the lack thereof, and weight in excess are still big topics, especially online.
Do you want to sell your brand through tactics of humiliation? I am guessing you have no interest in returning to the golden days of Madison Avenue. The Rolling Stones classic, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is a direct criticism of the sales methods of that era, and the song lyrics still ring true. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine recently ranked “Satisfaction” the number two song on its roster of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Is it in your best interest to be ridiculed for your ads?
Let’s reframe the process. Leave behind the focus on the negative, on unmet desires and unattainable goals. Instead, it’s time to step into the light. What’s the right thing to do by your audience? Creating content that answers questions is a feel good strategy. And much more. It’s a chance to connect with potential leads on multiple levels in an intelligent and respectful way.
That’s the kind of feeling you want to engender with your product or service. A solid content marketing strategy is a meeting of the minds. You are there when your customer needs you most, 24 hours a day. Let everyone else aim for the gut. Your target is a couple of feet higher.
You are the search engine result; you provide a credible, safe and reliable resource with an efficient budget and a great ROI. You are not looking for trouble. You’re simply seeking connection, just like your target. There has been a fundamental shift in the sophistication of your audience, and a critical eye turns the opposite direction from deceptive tactics. Be there, in that opposite direction, in the line of your client’s sight.
Oh, and enjoy those Super Bowl ads. They cost an arm, a leg, and a whole lot of sleep on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Of course, there’s virtually no ROI on them.
I know you are still singing “Satisfaction” in your head.