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One of the most important, yet forgotten rules of sales is
that once the salesperson has described the product, and described how a product
meets the customer's needs, the salesperson must ask for the order, or
"close" the sale. We've all heard or seen statements similar to the ones
above, imploring; even bribing; consumers to purchase products or services.
Based upon that golden rule of salesmanship, these are examples of adspeak used
so frequently that they've become clichés.
Utilized by less-than-brilliant copywriters, they assume that the potential
buyer has paid attention to the advertiser's message, and will hopefully push
a buyer-on-the-brink past his or her objections to the purchase. Such
urgency, some marketers feel, is necessary lest the buyer lose interest, or, God
forbid, forget the product once the commercial's over or the page is turned.
A different kind of adspeak is
not urgent at all. Its intention is to raise the consumer's consciousness
about a product; but doesn't adhere to the old-fashioned "ask for the order"
technique. The assumption is that the slogan associated with one's product
will be so catchy and memorable, the buyer will either overtly or subliminally
recall, and purchase, your product from amongst competitive offerings.
"I loved it so much I bought the company" -
"Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it
is" - Alka-Seltzer
"A diamond is forever" - DeBeers Mines
"Strong enough for a man, but made for a
woman" - Secret deodorant
"There's nothing like a Hoover when you're
dealing with dirt"
"Leave the driving to us" - Greyhound Bus
"I bet you can't eat just one" - Lay's potato
(Here's some history... how many of you
remember:) "Wouldn't you really rather have a Buick (this year)?"
Finally, there's the internal
language of Madison Avenue (a street in New York City synonymous with
advertising agencies, because at one time the preponderance of ad agencies were
located thereon). There are two major categories of advertising:
"consumer advertising" and "industrial advertising."
encompasses advertisements, most typically print and on-line, aimed at
businesses and those who make purchasing decisions on their behalf.
Industrial print-ads can be found in trade publications, industry newsletters,
and printed and on-line catalogues.
By far the larger category of
advertising is consumer advertising.
"Let's run it up the flagpole and see who
salutes." - to test an advertisement and measure the results via market
research. (This phrase is considered by newcomers to the advertising
business to be somewhat archaic.) Which brings us to:
"Test markets" - cities in which various ads
are tested before the most successful is utilized on a national or
international basis. The ads which garner the most favorable results in
market research are then "rolled-out" on a complete regional, national, or
international basis. Advertising success is measured by both market
research, and, more importantly, an ad's ability to increase sales for the
"SMSA" - standard metropolitan statistical
area. Heavily-populated portions of the country. The smaller of
these are where ads are tested. The larger of these are also called
Clio Awards - advertising agencies submit
their best work to this organization. Juries comprised of experts in
their field (television, radio, print, on-line, and student-created) then
select from the submissions the most significant works in their field.
The Clio awards are typically announced in May each year. The Clio
awards have been bestowed since 1959, beginning in the U.S. The Clio
awards competition is today open to advertisers world-wide.
"Spot" - a television or radio commercial.
Television "spots" run in 15-, 30-, and 60-second intervals. The most
famous "spots" are the television commercials produced for the Super Bowl
(U.S. football championship game) each year. Americans actually can't
wait to see the clever, expensively-produced commercials, for which the
advertiser is charged, typically, millions of dollars.
"Direct Marketing" - Marketing directly to
individual consumers. Most typically advertisements mailed to members of
a list which is purchased by the advertiser ("Junk Mail").
"Tele-marketing" is the often-annoying but still-used process of calling
potential customers on the telephone to peddle one's product or service.
In the United States, tele-marketing is now heavily regulated by the
government. Individuals may sign up for a "do-not-call" list and
advertisers must compare their own call-lists to the larger set of
"do-not-calls" to ensure compliance. Violations are subject to fines.
"Spam" is the Internet equivalent to "junk mail," and is also so annoying to
consumers that it's become regulated in the U.S. However, "spammers"
from out of the country can evade the regulatory requirements that "spam"
email contain a name, address and telephone number of the advertiser, as well
as an easy device to "opt-out" of being sent additional emails from the
advertiser. Direct marketing also encompasses "door-to-door" sales of
products (e.g., Amway, Fuller Brush) and in-home demonstrations of products
(Electrolux, Avon, Mary-Kay cosmetics).
"Product Placement" - a whole niche in the
advertising industry devoted to getting a client's product exposed by
including it in a television program or movie. Companies pay TV and
motion picture producers hefty sums so that the characters in their programs
are seen using their products. This began many years ago when motor car
companies would provide the use of vehicles for television programs in
exchange for being named in the end credits (the text which typically flashes
or "rolls" up the screen at the end of the program). Thanks to Jack for pointing out that many film and TV production companies will actually pay a Brand for the permission to use their products in their programs (ostensibly because the Brand is essential to a character or to the plot.
"Info-mercials" - as opposed to "spot"
advertising, an advertiser actually purchases a whole block of time, typically
on television, and creates a 30- to 60- minute "program" which covers the
complete features of their product or service, and includes demonstrations,
recipes, applications, etc. U.S. hypester Ron Popeil is recognized as
the "king" of Info-mercials. His "Veg-O-Matic" slicer/dicer/chopper
started out being demonstrated and sold at state fairs and in shopping malls
by Popeil-trained sales personnel who typically had a fast "patter" (sales
pitch) and an answer for each and every customer objection. Today,
Popeil's company, Ronco, markets nearly two-dozen products on television, via
direct mail, in malls, and, of course, on the internet.
"Logo" - (short for "logotype") originally a
single piece of lead type which contained the motto, insignia or trademark of
a company, now any trademarked visual device intended to distinguish a
company or organization.
The cost to an advertiser to place ads,
whether in print or on electronic media, is determined by the potential number
of people who'll be exposed to the ad. Newspapers measure this via
"circulation," the number of papers sold each day ("readership").
Measuring viewership in television or listenership in radio is a trickier
endeavor. TV and Radio stations typically rely on a combination of
measurement and market research. The most famous researcher of media
exposure is the Nielsen organization, which in the 1960's began placing
information recording devices in selected homes nationwide to record the
television viewing habits of American families. Nowadays, there are
still "Nielsen families" who're paid to have a metering device attached to the
televisions in their home, although Nielsen has branched out by utilizing
self-written viewing/listening "diaries" and questionnaires to measure viewer/listenership.
- Interview: James J. Tommaney, President, Tommaney Marketing Services,
New York, NY (1984)
- Interview: R. Cherins, Vice President, Tatham-Laird & Kudner Direct,
New York, NY (1979)