The following will likely result in bad brand advertising:
1. Design by committee
2. Opinionated reviewers and approvers who don’t understand marketing
3. Writing ads that appeal to you rather than the target consumer
4. Using flowery language that sounds good but that means nothing. (This is a common ailment of neophyte copywriters. Substance is good. Using an economy of words is good. Simple, persuasive copy is good. Fluff and filler are bad.)
5. Squeezing as many features and benefits into the ad as possible (unsophisticated advertising clients often request this)
6. Revising an emotional or metaphorical ad to make it more literal (another common ailment of unsophisticated advertising clients)
7. Focusing on reach versus frequency.
8. Assuming that business-to-business advertising is significantly different from consumer advertising (“It needs to be factual and informative, not emotional.”). Don’t forget, business decision-makers are people too. And people are ruled as much by their hearts as by their heads. Harding’s 1996 study of buyers in ten corporations demonstrated that corporate buyers overwhelmingly rely on personal and emotional reasons over rational ones in their purchase choice.
9. Jingles. Unless they are very, very good (and most are not very, very good), they will distract from the brand message.
10. Celebrity endorsements tend not to be believable.
11. Making claims that your brand can’t support.
And, while this may not result in bad advertising, for consistency’s sake, the following is not a good idea:
12. A new marketing manager, feeling the need to “make his or her mark” on the brand, hires a new advertising agency and creates a totally new advertising campaign (whether the old campaign was working or not)
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Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education