How does that junk make it on the air?

Ever wonder why you see so many commercials that make you wince and say, “Why would they put something like that on the air?”

The short answer is RESOURCES. The two key resources are time and money, and rarely does any organization, large or small, have enough of either these days. If they ever did.

In a perfect world research would drive every aspect of every campaign. Before the messages were developed, research would be conducted with members of the target market to determine what value they are seeking. After the message was developed, additional research would be conducted to see if the message’s value proposition resonated with them. After the campaign launched, follow up would be done to see how the message was received and that information would be used to help develop the next campaign.

Of course, rarely do all those steps get followed. There are deadlines to meet with limited budgets, so what happens most often is that corners get cut in each of the steps outlined above. Or some get omitted altogether.  What often happens is that, at best, a mediocre campaign is launched and the organization winds up depending  more on hope than strategy, all the while dissatisfied, or downright embarrassed, at the way the campaign tells their branding story. At the worst, the campaign actually ends up doing irreparable damage to the brand.

Oilfield fire-fighting legend Red Adair once said that if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur. That’s kind of what is at risk when organizations try to cut corners on research. If you don’t believe me, do a little research yourself. Just watch a few commercials that are obviously poorly done and ask yourself if you’d entrust the brands featured in them with your business! Those are the kinds of questions the owners of the brands represented in the commercials SHOULD have asked consumers like YOU before they put it out there.

Research is an investment. Do it right and it’ll pay dividends for your brand.

Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.” – David Ogilvy