Modern Ideas for Outdated Advertising Tactics

Examples of Ads that start movements.

By Sarah Stahl, Digital Marketing Strategist

The future isn’t a place we go, rather a place we get to create.”

That’s how Nancy Duarte wrapped up her wildly popular eighteen minute Ted Talk back in 2011. With close to two million views, her analytical discovery unraveled “the secret of great talks” and challenged a generation of storytellers to be more creative about how they bring their ideas to the public.

Besides, isn’t that afterall what greatest marketers are; storytellers? Short of acquiring a creative writing degree, there seem to be endless angles to tackle in a good marketing story and this assignment focuses on two powerful ways for us to consider when developing a campaign.

“It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen.”

Novelty and Contrast are two industry terms used to describe storytelling approaches in advertising. The Novelty method typically uses unconventional tactics on a small budget to make a big impression; think viral gorilla marketing.

The neat thing about this communication approach is how stinking creative you can get with it, literally the sky is the limit. But if you think about it, we’ve been to space. So, you get the point. An incredible example of this style of advertising is The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 commercial depicting a big city executive vising to take back her employees. What she discovered was the “gig city” was actually more conducive to doing business there, ending with her moving her entire operation to the innovative Tennessee Valley sanctuary. Using progressive storytelling in the form of a humorous musical extravaganza,

The Chamber was certainly able to get their point across, reframing consumer views in completely out of the box format. I’m just wondering how many businesses made the switch to the gig icty since this video aired. Way to go Cha Cha Land, enjoy!

“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”

Another ad industry term used to describe a popular messaging style is called Contrast.

Contrast explains how we are psychologically affected when we introduce two vastly different alternatives in succession. The neat thing is, this style has been scientifically exposed to be the most effective communication format when introducing a new idea when looking to start a movement. Okay, so if you are in toilet paper sales there may not be much of a movement you are looking to start. If anything your goal is less movement, but if you are in pretty much any other industry you want your idea to be communicated in a way that does not get ignored. I bet that’s why you’ve spent so much on big ad/marketing firms. Someone somewhere once told you the more you spend the better the results. Not so. As we saw above with the Novelty messaging style, a modest budget can be spent on developing powerful results among a very specific group of people. We are just limited by our creativity.

There is certainly no lack of creativity in the 2007 VW commercial that was able to reframe a once negative perception of German Engineer’s by offering a stark contrast between “stiff” Germans and well-made cars. In “dancing school” German Engineer’s learn to “shake it” (or try to anyways) until the conclusion reminds viewers that, “Germans are stiff. Who wants a shaky car?” The mental visual sets off a domino effect of reasons that brings viewers to the ultimate conclusion that it’s totally acceptable for Germans to be stiff if that means developing one of the world’s most reliable cars.

Just like that, viewers trust the brand and consider the potential of purchasing a Volkswagen. Their ability to turn a negative perception around and build positive brand awareness is genius.

The future isn’t a place we go, rather a place we get to create.”

Stories are how humans catch on to ideas and when we can allow ourselves to be creative we can look way beyond industry norms to develop stories that connect with an audience in a way that causes them to take action.

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