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  • Writer's pictureBill Hollingsworth

"Madam, your marketing shift is showing." said a wise creative director I once worked with. The sentiment was that no matter how well you've dressed your message in beautiful advertising outer clothing, to actually captivate and entrance your audience you need to not let your marketing strategy underwear show.

Recently, there seems to be a greater disconnect between advertising and audiences. There's a lot that can do no more than simply present the brand name and/or product to the audience. This may be a pitchside hoarding, a simple press ad, sponsorship, or online display. There is not much room for more than that, so it is what it is.

The disconnect lies in when the advertiser hopes to connect with the audience. Part of it is the medium: In places where advertising is expected, trying to do much more than inform needs careful handling. There seems to be a raft of ads lately, who seem to be hoping to connect, but by being dressed in familiar advertising tropes and under-researching the needs of their market, are unable to make an emotional connection with their audiences.

To really work emotionally, they need to completely understand the wider audience, not just the target persona, to not follow tropes and to behave freshly; to allow for the suspension of disbelief - otherwise the marketing intentions are obvious. And the dress doesn't impress.

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