Storytelling and Advertising, Part 1

Storytelling and Advertising

This is a poster for POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Sony Pictures Classics, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

This is a poster for POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Sony Pictures Classics, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

There is something about advertising, which leaves me captivated. In fact these days I find myself listening to the radio specifically for the advertisements. I listen to them, think about how they chose to sell their product, service, event, or cause, and then think about how effective it was.

Funny, right? I mean, after my first two years of media studies I was so disgusted with the manipulation in the industry I quit school and moved to a place without cable (I think they have it now). But they still had radio there.

The main radio station in town was, like, hyper-local. Where the announcers pronounced words like “cache” cash-aye instead of cash. I spent a lot of time listening to this station. Not by choice. It was because the place I worked had a radio waaaaaaaay up on 18′ shelves and I couldn’t change it. It played on and on all day, every day.

I’m thankful for this time in my life because listening to this silly little station for eight hours a day introduced me to syndicated programming in the form of Paul Harvey.

And now, for the rest of the story

The late American journalist’s storytelling was captivating. These short features presented little-known facts on an array of topics with the key element of the story held until the end. I learned to look forward to these daily story times. It made the other seven hours and 55 minutes bearable.

As I listened each day I became more and more interested in telling stories too. In fact I believe this was one of the many small incidents, which led me back to university and media. Maybe I could become a great storyteller too.

So how does advertising fit in? Well as the years have passed I’m learning advertising can be an effective means of storytelling. And for the most part I like it, so long as the content is truthful and not manipulative.

These Anchorman spots for Dodge are a home run.

For example. They’re a perfect example of what The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was studying about media partnerships.

Fascinating!

I’m finding myself intrigued by the industry and curious to know what works, what doesn’t, and why.

Advertising Musings

Advertising Musings

I’m having thoughts about advertising. Musings, if you will. Advertising musings.

In my first year of university I took a course on advertising. It wasn’t terribly informative or interesting (it was a first year course after all) but I did manage to take something from the class.

And it has finally become useful.

It was more of a concept than anything else. The something I’m referring to is the phenomena advertising is despite no evidence that it actually works.

Statistical, factual evidence I mean. Not the thoughts and feelings, we so often mistake use as proof. (e.g. I think advertisers are brainwashing the masses.)

Since there is no real backing saying advertising works, then why is so much money put into it?

I don’t know for certain but I think advertising is important if not to sell products, at least to make your company name familiar to the general public. And I think familiarity is important because it implies you’re trustworthy.

The argument: If your company/product has been around long enough for people to hear about it, it must be alright.

I’m not saying it’s a rational or fallacy-free argument, but when I go out to buy Kleenex or Q-tips I associate the brand name with the entire product, despite what its actual name is.

In that spirit, I hate how easily I fall for a line. And how little I actually think about the “truths,” in my life. (e.g. Do I really need this product or has a need been created for me?) But realizing this gives me a bit of power over its spell, reminds me to think critically about the items I consume and gives me tips on what I should be doing when making advertisements for my company.

As of yesterday I managed to convince my boss to let me buy a couple ad spaces and see what happens.

My argument: “I’ve looked through these publications and see all the company’s we do business with advertised in there. We should get our name in there too, show everyone we’re on the same level as the big players.”

I consider it a small victory, although it may be short-lived since my boss wants me to track the ad’s success rate, which I don’t think is possible.

My suspicion is if I cannot prove it is bringing business in, the ads will be out.

I'm having thoughts about advertising. Musings, if you will. Advertising musings. In my first year of university I took a course on advertising. It wasn't terribly informative or interesting (it was a first year course after all) but I did manage to take something from the class. And it has finally become useful

Those are my advertising musings, not sure if this will go anywhere.

* A few people have asked what field I’m in now. Geology; I’m in the field of geology.