Despite reports of advertising’s imminent demise, it still does work, under the ideal circumstance.
The proof. I was comfortably vegetating on my couch watching my third NFL game of the day, when a TV commercial interrupted my peace. I sprang into action, put on my Nikes, ran to my car, and raced to the nearest place where I could buy the product that alerted me to its existence.
I completed the transaction, drove expectantly homeward, and enjoyed the satisfaction of a purchase well made.
Are you longing to know what it was that awoke my latent need or instilled the urgency of my frenetic action? Or what irresistible force overcame the immovable object?
It was Arby’s. The TV situation depicted a man who couldn’t find a living soul until he found a live one. The discoveree was stuffing his mouth and explained that everybody is at Arby’s, where they are selling five Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwiches for five bucks. That triggered me.
Why did it work for me?
- I was hungry
- I could get there quickly
- I am of their targeted audience—older, a roast beef lover
- I was a lapsed user—-hadn’t had an Arby’s in five years
- I identified with the characters. Average looking guys.
So, is this the proof that you needed that advertising can work? Yes. All you need is a product that works, the right audience, a brand that is acceptable, and an incentive. It’s obvious that timing is essential.
Technology hasn’t made advertising as we knew it passé, but it has made it tougher. Competition is fiercer, and consumer patience is thinner.
Arby’s connected with me on a late Sunday afternoon. How many commercials sped through my head, unnoticed and uncared for?