Addictive Advertising

There's very little advertising that's worth its salt anymore. We see so much of it and we're so good at filtering it, it's nearly impossible to "stick" to your soul. How do we touch the audience anymore? What will change behavior? Can you really create the tipping point anymore? This is a popular topic when ad geeks culminate and discuss what's good, bad and ugly. What's harder even still is putting creative arms around hard issues like Public Service Announcements (PSA's), health issues, disaster and ANYTHING that personally touches one's family.

Which brings me to Montana's Meth Project (Anti Methanphetamine campaign) called "METH – NOT EVEN ONCE." Very little effects me in advertising and almost nothing haunts me. That all changed when I saw this work:

I invite you to suffer through all the television here.

So what makes powerful advertising? Well you can look at this body of work and say "well it's all shock value", but is it? The fact of the matter we can't handle work this big mentally and we push it away praying that they never effect us – but it can. We can be robbed, we can abuse an illegal or LEGAL (OTC) substance, we can have a friend commit suicide, we can suffer from depression or have your child's best friend die in a drunk driving accident – or worse (God forbid). We have to except that candy-coating all work is not necessarily in the best interest of the audience.

Given that this is the case here is a hardcore punchlist that can get you started:

  1. It has to make you feel SOMETHING agonising or hit you from personal moments in your past
  2. It has to effect you personally, attack the family is the quickest way to get attention
  3. It has to effect the audience financially and structurally
  4. It has to beg the question of 'HOW DO I FIX THIS?'
  5. It must create urgency
  6. It must strip down what is MOST important to the audience: children, family, home, friends or lifestyle

Posted on May 24, 2010 and filed under Advertising, Storytelling, Strategy.