Great Business Ideas: Feel-good advertising

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Feel-good advertising

Rather than simply presenting customers with a manifesto of reasons to purchase your product, try to entertain, intrigue, or reassure them.

The idea

It can be tempting when creating an advertising campaign just to focus on why your product is superior and how you can persuade customers to purchase it. But the reality is that most of the people you reach with your advertising will be cynical and overloaded with other campaigns. Consequently, they have little interest in an unsolicited, short statement about why your product is better. This means you should fi nd a new way of talking to them. Creating a marketing campaign that potential customers fi nd amusing, fascinating, or heart-warming will help you reach even the most jaded consumer.

Cellphone company Orange devised its “Orange Wednesdays” offer of free cinema tickets for customers, through a series of adverts that aired before movies in Britain, which humorously lampooned the movie and advertising industries. The short clips showed movie stars unsuccessfully attempting to pitch ideas to an “Orange Film Commission,” only to be shot down because the movies did not do enough to promote Orange cellphones. Over-the-top and deliberately laughable suggestions were made to the aspiring movie-makers, including “making the fourth in the trilogy” for Lord of the Rings, and renaming it “Lord of the Ring Tone.” These non-traditional adverts satirized advertising, while subtly attempting to win customers and form positive brand associations.

Dove, a leading provider of skin and hair care products, implemented a feel-good advertising promotion with its “Campaign for Real Beauty.” Straying from the typical approach of cosmetic companies using attractive models, Dove encouraged customers to feel happy about the way they look naturally. Using models with a “realistic” appearance, Dove encouraged women to have a positive body image regardless of conventional beauty standards. British newspaper The Times commented on the campaign: “Dove presents a refreshing antidote to the jaundiced narcissism of the professional supermodel hired to sell beauty products.” By rebelling against some of the negative or traditional practices in advertising, Dove and Orange created goodwill and positive brand awareness, while entertaining and amusing potential customers.
So don’t just make your customers feel better about your product: make them feel better about themselves.

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In practice

  • Understand the sense of humor, social concerns, and typical “personality” of your target market.
  • Consider involving entertainers in your ad campaigns to provide a memorable comic edge.
  • Integrate any corporate social initiatives your company is undertaking into your advertising campaign.
  • Do not feel pressured to fi t your product into conventional advertising. Be critical and adapt your marketing into a more lively and customer-focused offering.