Life as an advertising agency

Ah yes the advertising agency.


Once upon a time there were businesses with products. Many, many businesses. They all looked at each other and wondered how they could persuade customers to buy their products over the others. The would shout and scream about how great their products were and why everyone should be buying theirs. That was back in the day before advertising, when things were simpler, and customers knew what was what with products.

Jump forward to today and we are swamped with every kind of advertising from TV and radio to digital online and banner ads on every page of our searched for Google webpages. Every where we look now there are adverts telling us how great this new product is or how we cannot possibly live without a particular product. How on earth do we decide what we want to buy if every single product out there is so good?

Our job as an advertisng agency is to sell the benefits of any product or business. I guess we should apologise for making the consumer choice much harder but that is what we are paid to do. Every client we have wants his or her product to sound the best out there. Of course they do. And that is what we do. The problem consumers have is they are positively awash with advertising. It is coming at them from all angles of the media. They switch on the TV or radio and ‘bang’, adverts. They search the internet and ‘bang’ banner ads, pop up ads, and with installed ‘cookies’ they will be shown products they have recently looked at themselves over and over – how can they cope?

The beauty of this much advertising is the consumer has unbelievable choice. They really have every product imaginable screaming at them ‘buy me!’ And if the advertising agencies have done their job the benefits of every product will be there for all to see too. So all the consumer has to do is look through what they like and decide on the benfits they prefer – SIMPLES! (sorry). The trouble is that can take a long time and can be very confusing. Especially if the ads are extolling every possible sexy benefit each product could possible have but in all likelihood doesn’t. You know the ones – the creams that ‘make you ten years younger’, the lotions that ‘make your hair regrow’, the washing powder that ‘gets your washing extra fragrant fresh’. You get the gist. It can be very difficult for consumers to make a considered choice.

The problem ad agencies have is that products are out there. Millions of them. And this means businesses need to sell them. All we are doing is helping them to sell them. Our job is to research a product and its benefits, decide what will appeal to a target market and go for it for all we are worth. That is our job. We are just trying to help businesses sell products. The problem consumers have is in deciding what they should buy. If advertising is done well it will probably make this task much, much harder. If there were just two products available the decision would be much easier for the consumer. Unfortunately there are gazillions.

So the life of an advertising agency is an interesting one. We have the same process we use for whichever product we are advertising. Appeal to the target market. Work out what the product offers to the consumer and hit those benefits hard. Hit them with everything you have. Tell the (mostly confused) consumer over and over again how great those benefits are until they get dizzy. And then tell them again. And again. And again.

That is what we do as an advertising agency. How the consumer decides is up to them. We just make them want everything!

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