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Learn Why An Effective Advertising Message Requires Focus

  
  
  

branding Washington dcThose of us who work in advertising and marketing process commercials differently than most.  I was recently watching a ball game on TV and saw a commercial for Coors Light.  A few things struck me.  Beyond being well produced and keeping my attention the entire 30 seconds, I was curious about the desired outcome Coors Light wanted.

There is a lot to be learned about effective messaging from this commercial.  Before reading further, please take 30 seconds to watch it here so this article is more relevant.

In this commercial, these are the only words spoken:  “Thanks.  No Problem.  When cold refreshment calls – Coors Light answers.  Frost brewed Coors Light.  The world’s most refreshing beer.”  That is 19 words.  For context of how few words that is, a typical 30 second radio or TV commercial would use a little over 100 words.

With so few words, can they accomplish their goal?  What is their call to action?  Are they asking me to do something?  Are they encouraging me to buy Coors Light when given the option?  Not really.  This commercial is definitely branding, but in order for it to be effective they need to have a desired outcome.

It appears their goal is to create an emotional (and somewhat physical) connection.  You would assume that the marketing minds at Coors Light are convinced that the beer drinkers they target list REFRESHING as one of the “benefits sought” when drinking a beer. 

If you were playing charades, “refreshing” would be a tough word to convey.  But “cold” is easy.  And when it comes to beer, the folks at Coors Light feel that cold equals refreshing and made an entire 30 second commercial to reinforce that point…and ONLY that point.

As we analyze the advertising messaging of Coors Light, let’s play the association game with the beer category.  The answers should be reflective of their marketing message.

Miller Light?  “Great tasting, Less Filling”

Coors Light?  “Cold, refreshing, frost brewed”

Bud Light?  Google them.  You will find that they don’t really “own” an association.  However, Bud Light was the top selling beer in 2012…by DOUBLE any other!  So how did they accomplish this without a clear “brand” association?  You can cite many reasons:  a partnership with the NFL and MASSIVE Super Bowl advertising every year are at the top of the list.  But the most logical explanation is that Bud Light topped all beer advertisers with $350 million spent in 2012!

So what can we learn from this?

First of all, there is an obvious correlation between brand awareness and the companies that advertise consistently and aggressively.  Second is the message.  Identify the “benefits sought” of your target audience and then have the confidence to design your marketing message around just one or two key selling points.  And that is it!  A true brand can be defined by an obvious association between the product/service and the benefit to the consumer.  And all these associations have been built by simple, repetitive and effective marketing.  Fed Ex:  Overnight.  ESPN:  Sports.  Disney:  Entertainment.  Domino’s:  Delivery.  Volvo:  Safety. 

Another massive brand is Amazon.  If you had to associate one word with Amazon, you might choose BIG.  Ironically, 15 or so years ago when Amazon first started advertising, they ran radio commercials that took the same approach as the Coors Light commercial above.  The ENTIRE commercial focused on one concept.  They needed to find a building big enough to house all their books.  There were different versions of the commercial.  One was all about renting the Pentagon.  They had one about buying the Houston Astrodome.  And one focused on using the old Denver airport that closed down in 1995.  15 years later, Amazon.com is one of the largest retailers in the world.  Their messaging, coupled with a consistent and aggressive investment, helped build that company into what it is known for today.

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