I was driving back from work a couple of evenings ago and while being stuck in traffic realized something – the sheer number of advertisements, endorsements and in-your-face marketing quite literally plagues us everywhere we go. From sellers calling in, email blasts, non-stop ads on Youtube videos and sponsored posts, clickbait, pop-ups, ads on the back of cabs, to a single film on television being stopped at least 20 times to sell some type of product repeatedly, we are inundated with corporates feeding their product and service thru every possible avenue.
While listening to the radio the other day, the host of a popular show commented on how shopping and entertainment has become less enjoyable because inevitably a promoter will follow you around a store till they finally thrust a new brand in your hands. This heavily compromises the brand and if anything, can push away customers who prefer to be objectively advised, honestly suggested products and want the personal touch, rather than being treated as a statistic on a target sheet. The average consumer is making far more intelligent choices in terms of their consumption and while we do need to be made aware of the latest market launches, we are starting to look at purchases from a value, sustainability and brand ethic standpoint while products are judged on ingredients, environmental footprint and personal health – something a promoter seldom talks about.
This brings me to my second point, we have all known that many products are simply re-packaged with minimal changes and sold to give it more of a revamped look appealing to different genders and age groups. In this day, people want neutral products that are multi-functional and buying patterns are now reflecting this shift as shoppers are making thorough comparisons of brands and even individual products to make solid purchases, as a result, word-of-mouth opinions travel incredibly fast on social media and individual social circles. Perhaps, my biggest concern is the sheer waste of our natural resources in the lifecycle of an average product from production to landfill. The reality is this is a vicious cycle and our obsessions with having the latest, newest, biggest and best is poisoning our ecosystems, food sources and making our planet a gigantic dump ground that ultimately will hamper our quality of life. Simply ask yourself, do we really need a new phone every year? Are we just becoming hoarders eager to stock up on everything that hits the shelves?
The easiest solution to this endless cycle is a multi-fold approach. Firstly, media houses need to objectively assess which product is worth advertising on your prestigious platforms and while I understand it can be very tempting to take on a lucrative contract from a big firm, you have a moral obligation to provide your readers, listeners and viewers honest content that you believe in. With regards to corporates, it is time to get creative and push the boundaries of advertising with unique social messages that resonate with the crux of your brand. All too often, cliche ads weed their way into mainstream media and I’m constantly comparing them to well-written and innovative ads that go viral on social media racking up millions of views, organically. Post writers need to avoid using clickbait as audiences have become immune to ‘This is breaking the internet’ and ‘You’ll never believe this’, it no longer encourages loyal readers and is certainly reducing how fast your content travels. Lastly, social media influencers and familiar public faces that endorse any product makes us question credibility and as a result, I genuinely feel using the common person to honestly assess a brand has more of an impact when connecting with audiences.
Customers are real people that experience a multitude of emotions, experiences and have complex lives, therefore, a brand needs to organically fit without it being imposed. Making your product truly exceptional, will sell without the need of marketing platforms, representatives and agencies, thereby making an all-round, highly recommended, well-loved and versatile solution that lives on for years.
With that said, I hope this summer brings new creative ideas, innovative products and a fresh take to an integral part of our daily experience.
Until we rendezvous again,