Tuesday, December 11, 2007

why ad awards aren't tied to sales

Today I am briefed on a new drug that hasn't come out yet. We're to do a two part ad campaign for it. The first part is an "education campaign" that reports a particular condition can only be treated with drugs that produce massive side effects. The campaign suggests how great it would be if someone could come up with a drug that worked without side effects. After this runs for six months or so, the second half of the campaign kicks in, introducing the drug. Presto! it says. We've got the drug you've been waiting for!

The meeting takes place in a windowless room with 15 bleary-eyed (it is Monday morning) people from various departments and as we talk CR ads and tip-ins and HCP RMs and launch flights, I'm thinking how much simpler my life would be if we were working on HeadOn instead. I may be the only person in advertising who hadn't seen this spot until recently when I stumbled upon it over at daily(ad)biz. It's the world's worst commercial or best, I suppose, depending on if you're a creative or financial consultant. (HeadOn sales grew 234% in one year--perhaps because the commercials themselves imbued viewers with urgent need for the product.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the call-out on your blog!

It's interesting what you say about Head On because I am torn too. Based on results, this is clearly an effective ad. But would it be more effective with creativity and branding?

And what happens when competitors come out with a parity product - where does HeadOn go with its brand?

All that said, sales are up very high and advertising is supposed to drive sales, so...

Alan Wolk said...

DB & AB: That's the great paradox of our business: the most annoying ads are often the most effective.

You're both in NYC area. I bet you can recite the "Autoland! Autoland! 1-800-Autoland!" chant. Crazy Eddie was in a similar vein.

What commercials do we remember from our childhood? The cheesy jingles.

DB's point about competitors is well taken, but I have yet to see a concrete example of it.