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Meatloaf and Advertising

What do Meatloaf and Advertising have in Common?…….,2 out of 3 ain’t bad

As the world of marketing and advertising plod forward to the day of reckoning, where all marketing will need to prove a significant ROI, I remember back to the great Meatloaf ballad, “I want you, I need you, there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you/now don’t be sad/2 out of 3 ain’t bad.”  There isn’t room for 3 budgets along with the unending love of brand advertising and its spending.  This is rapidly being replaced by 2 of the 3, “experiences” and selling.


“I’d do anything for love/but I won’t do that.” A pretty picture, a catchy phrase, a new bottle and the constant chant of “COKE” trying to teach the world to sing are all the things I was initially taught to believe moved the needle.  Mad Men made me angry that I couldn’t be a creative director just writing things.  Once in a pitch from an ad agency I was implored to use television because “your brand is only young once.”  I love brands, colors, words, images but that life-long love affair that many of us have had is drawing to a close.  There is no way we can love the brand spend and the ROI at the same time.  When you can’t explain why, it’s time to move on to a new chord.


Hmmmm.  All the senses in one place?  Contextual control on every level?  We all want you! This is where creative has been moving as we see online brands begin to pop up and opt up in the increasingly available retail landscape.  The question is increasingly becoming “where do we put these experiences” to most easily appeal to our target audiences.  With “experience” as the new shiny object on our marketing and advertising horizons, the research that goes into location selection is more critical than to just rely on what the landlord proclaims.  As an industry, our skills and use of the tools of the real estate trade were not in the handbook when we started.  Where we place our “experience” bets are enormous expenditures of human and capital resource and the research is available.

 Direct response

Either we are driving consumers to an experience or a transaction.  The silos of internal channel conflict are falling more rapidly than ever before allowing us not to rate locations purely by selling.  They can be experiences, purely, as long as there is a path to purchase that occurs and re-occurs. More and more we must think about marketing to those that are interested.  We all need you!  Amazon, Warby, BONOBOS and all the others opening brick-and-mortar stores all have one thing in common.  They don’t care if you buy in the store or on the web, just buy.  Our direct response efforts can be very effectively focused on the interested and driving them to show up, sign up or purchase.  We need the ROI.

 I can see paradise by the dashboard light

Trying new things can be taxing.  “it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night/I can see paradise by the dashboard light.” What is that coming from my screen?  Information, confirmation, affirmation oh my.  Is that paradise that I see in that light?  Information as to where our target audience really goes, confirmation that they are interested in what we are offering. And, affirmation that something we did to communicate made them transact or show up in some way.  As an industry, we have attempted to use research to predict outcomes from small samples, let’s just agree that it really hasn’t worked.  If paradise comes from the dashboard light, then who am I to argue with that direction. It sounds like what we have all been working to figure out.

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