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Now what?

So last night I was home watching some television, between shifts, and I saw this ad for Malaysia Tourism. Like all tourism ads it showed happy people, food, flora, fauna, shopping etc. (How unique is that.??) Anyway, that’s not my point..

There was a shot of a couple sitting on deck chairs on an absolutely beautiful clear, blue water beach. It’s not unlike other beaches you’d see. But it is next door in Malaysia. So I remembered it.

But guess what? They don’t tell you where it is. Or what it is called.

So I wondered how do they expect people to come to places they show if they don’t tell you where it is? I can’t imagine calling a travel agent and asking them if they had seen the ad and if they knew where the place was. Would seem silly.

I know the role of that advertising is to build image and preference for Malaysia as a whole. But if they added those 2 words of text naming the place, it would help me that much more in planning a holiday.

I pick on this TV commercial because I saw it last night and it stayed in my mind. But most of these campaigns sell you a country and an experience, which is great. I think that little bit of investment in getting a teenie bit specific can translate into immediate dollars?

In a similar light is the Four Seasons Hotel campaign. The campaign shows some fantastic properties. More than once I looked at an ad and said, “I must go stay there. Or atleast find out if I can afford it”.

But guess what.. that’s right they don’t tell you.

There is a lot of fine print in the ad, just not the location they feature.

I don’t get it.

The purpose of all advertising is to sell. So shouldn’t every piece in the ad try to do just that? What’s the point of getting you all excited about something and then not tell you how to get it.

In the tourism ad case, it is conceivable that you can call an agent or go to the website and search for ‘beaches’ or ‘elephants’ or whatever and after some effort stumble upon the specific place one saw.

But I would feel really foolish to call Four Seasons and tell them “have you seen that ad that features those cabanas and a couple in the foreground in a little pool? No? Ok hold on I’ll just email it to you and then we can talk”.

In certain categories, or in some types of creative executions, the above being two examples, the “Now what?” that it provokes need to lead to an action.

At all times.

Specially so when spend dollars are tight.

The gap between Advertising and Demand Generation often lies in the agency’s mind. Not the consumer’s.

  1. May 8, 2009 at 11:22 am

    A point well made. Very often the obvious might not seem ‘sexy’ enough. But it is the obvious that counts especially in the two cases you have mentioned. I do not understand why agencies dont get that.

    I came across yr blog recently and will be a regular from now. Keep it up, Harish.


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