Saturday, January 1, 2011

The year of persuasion

It’s New Years day 2011. If you are reading AdNotes on the day, Happy New Year. (We both really should be on the beach!)

This year is special because I plan to make no New Years resolutions, at least no personal ones. Losing weight, cutting down on the wine, and getting fit all seem to happen much better without a resolution.

However I will make a professional resolution and it’s one that you are welcome to share.

Currently the word ‘conversation’ has become fashionable when talking about the relationship our consumers have with our brands. Fair enough. Web 2.0 is all about consumers commenting on the actions of marketers and other consumers.

Traditional creative ad agencies still like using the terms ‘big idea’ and ‘concept’ to describe an over-arching creative theme that ties all the communication strands together. Again fair enough. A brands communication should be consistent and arresting.

Conversations and Big Ideas are important in building brand awareness.

But brand awareness alone will not sell stuff. The way to sell stuff is to ‘Persuade’.

Here’s an example. I really like Deus customised motorcycles (pronounced Day-Us). I’ve seen their advertising. I’ve been to the website. I’ve had conversations. So I am aware and very positively disposed to the brand. In a focus group I’d truthfully say I wanted to buy one.

Many digital and traditional agencies would call that mission accomplished and open the Bollinger. But I have not been ‘persuaded’ to buy. I love the brand but for many reasons I’ll probably never purchase.

So my New Years Resolution is this: On behalf of my client's brands, I will start conversations, create big ideas, and build brand awareness as usual. But most of all, I will PERSUADE consumers to buy!

If you have a creative advertising problem call Tony Richardson on (02) 9929 0588 or visit Tony Richardson Advertising or

You are welcome to reprint any AdNotes article on your website and in your e-newsletters for FREE. All I ask is that you attribute me, Tony Richardson and include a link to


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