building brands with advertising

Healthcare Marketing: Bring Back the Glory of Advertising

Adverting can be better.  We can create better work.  With all the tools available today we should be more effective.

Think about advertising in the 50s, 60, 70s and 80s.   Before the internet and social media and mobile marketing.  Great brands were built.  Using traditional media, great brands were created. TV, print, radio and outdoor were used to create dominant brands and build brand equity.

Think about some of the successes:

Diamonds Are Forever…DeBeers

Volvo… owned safety

Avis Tried Harder. . because they were number 2

Pop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz… Alka-Seltzer

Just Do it…Nike

Be All You Can Be…Army

It Takes A Licking and Keeps On Ticking…Timex

Where’s the Beef?…Wendy’s

Only a Few Good Men…Marines

The Real Thing…Coke

And we could go on and on.  The point is easily made that advertising was effective and helped build great brands.  But fewer great brands are being created today.  Why?  Maybe it’s because we don’t have great ideas.  We aren’t saying anything worth saying.  We aren’t capturing the minds and hearts of consumers.  We are talking at consumers instead of to consumers.   Maybe it’s because our advertising has no soul.

We take shortcuts, go for the cheapest production, take the easy way out, and don’t spend the time to do what’s necessary to capture the consumer’s minds and hearts.

It’s true that healthcare advertising is quite restrictive.  We are dealing with a very serious subject. We have all kinds of regulations.  We have to be sensitive to our many constituencies.  So many have to approve the work and to gain all the approvals the work gets watered down.  It’s uniquely challenging to do great healthcare work.  But none of this should prohibit us from trying.  Trying to put some soul in our work, make sure it resonates with the consumer in both their mind and heart.  Give our work a voice and a brand distinction that builds brand equity.

To do so means art direction, production and copy writing all matters.  The work should have a voice and be attractive and appealing.  It takes skill and it’s not easy.  We should push each other to do better and to be committed to producing the best work possible and to not just give in.

And we must believe advertising can be both creative and effective.  The two are not mutually exclusive.  The history of advertising should teach us that.  Creativity and effectiveness has always gone hand in hand.  We should strive to create beautiful work that speaks to our audience.  Work that communicates and captivates.

Advertising has been effective for decades.  It has built great brands.  And today we have more tools than ever.  More opportunities than ever.  More options in the toolbox.  More mediums to integrate that should make our work even stronger and more effective.

But we must believe in our industry.  Our craft.  We must respect what we do and the skill and talents required to do the job well.  We can all do better.

We must!