Similar Ads Lead to Diluted Messages

When we looked at the cosmetic beauty ads, we analyzed the unfortunate uniformity between the creative strategies. The indistinguishable copy, camera shots and celebrity-endorsements regrettably made every cosmetics ad less memorable than the previous. The point of advertising is to position a product distinctly from that of the competition.

You want to tell people why they should drink 7Up, not why they should drink pop in general. 7Up for example has done a very good job in distinguishing itself from other lemon-lime drinks for the lemon-lime soda drinkers of the nation as they have drilled it into our brains that 7Up is the only major lemon-lime soda that is all-natural. That’s right, suck it Sierra Mist! But, if like we saw in beauty ads the messaging is too similar consumers start to think yeah, I should visit a big box home improvement store to buy my appliances, but don’t know why they should go to Lowe’s in particular. It becomes a haze of diluted messages.

Sometimes I guess this happens by accident. Advertisers are allowed to be on the same wave length as others. However, when watching this Wal-Mart ad, I swore it was a Target ad, until I saw the Wal-Mart logo at the end. This strikes me as less of an accident because this Target creative strategy has been used for months now.

Check it out.

Unfortunately, Target removed the price that is shown with the M&M bags because those prices are subject to region and certain promotional dates. If you know these commercials, you know that when the product comes up there is a $7.99 next to it. So for Wal-Mart to use the same strategy is very interesting. I think the mix of these messages can create the idea that you should go to a big box store for your Halloween candy needs, but not specifically Target and not specifically Wal-Mart. You have to be careful.

Just out of curiosity, are you a Target or Wal-Mart person? I get the understanding that Wal-Mart is a suburbia thing, because I only can find one Wal-Mart within a 15 mile radius of my apartment. So by default I have become a Target person. So, what suits you and why? Do you think it has to do with proximity, promotions, prices or some other factors?

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