Alan Mitchell’s column into the effectiveness of advertising (MW last week) to some extent holds no surprises, as Sergio Zyman, ex-marketing chief at Coca-Cola, noted in his 2002 book, The End of Advertising as We Know It.
Much conventional advertising, Zyman argued, does little to sell products or services. And if it’s not selling, it’s not working.
People have reprogrammed their brains to reject ads, so they no longer engage with them emotionally. And this is the key to getting people’s interest.
Research in neuroscience shows that the brain’s limbic system, which governs feelings, is far more powerful than the neocortex that controls intellect. So building customer relationships isn’t just about buzzwords, it’s about emotional response. Time was when all it took to trigger an emotional response was the Andrex puppy. Not any more.
One thing Zyman does advocate is “control the medium, not just the message”. And there is, of course, a real “advertiser-funded” medium that some clients have been in control of for a while now – the magazine (or rather, the customer magazine). When done well, a customer mag ticks all the right boxes for Zyman and several million emotionally-responding consumers.