I usually have two books on the go at once.
A day book, and a night book.
Daytime is when I’ve got most energy.
So the day book will be a book I really enjoy reading when I’m wide awake, and looking for something to stimulate my mind.
A book that actually takes a little thinking about, and some effort from me to work out.
Usually philosophy or science.
By night time, I’m starting to get a bit tired.
So I want a book that doesn’t take any effort.
I want a book that jumps off the page and tells me a story.
Something entertaining and involving, but without any effort on my part.
A novel, a biography, something funny.
So, for night time I want a book that comes to me.
For day time I want a book that I go to.
I’m just one person, but at different times of the day I need different types of communication.
High involvement – day. Low involvement – night.
Why is it then, that everyone in advertising thinks one kind of communication is right for every person?
And every brand and every product, in every situation, at every time of day.
Why is it that everyone argues that their way is the only way?
That, because they only like one kind of advertising, that must be right and everything else must be wrong.
That just can’t be true.
The Sun is the biggest selling paper in the UK.
But The Daily Mail is the biggest selling paper amongst people who only buy one paper.
Because around half a million of The Sun’s sales are to people who are buying two papers.
They buy a serious paper to read for information, like The Financial Times.
And they buy The Sun for entertainment.
Same people, two different papers.
So surely it must be the same with products and consumers.
A cinema ad has the entire audience facing the screen in the dark and concentrating on what’s on it.
That’s very different to a TV set at home in a busy front room with people talking and phones ringing.
In the cinema, the commercial can afford to be much more subtle and involving.
On the TV at home, it can’t.
Depending again on the time of day, the audience, the programme, the brand.
For instance, an expensive perfume shouldn’t shout, or be too obvious.
It’s all about alure and mystery. 
That’s not true for a breakfast cereal.
No one’s going to work out the hidden message, like a crossword clue.
And yet that seems to be the latest fashion for everything, everywhere.
Esoteric advertising that has to be correctly interpreted by the viewer.
Last week someone told me their creative director said to them, “It’s not good advertising if you can understand it.”
Well, as long as you’re only selling products to college graduates who are concentrating on decoding your hidden message, that’s probably right.
But what about the rest of us?
We didn’t ask, and don’t want, to play cryptic games with a stranger. 
We know you’re trying to sell us something, we’re not stupid.
Can you tell us what it is in a simple, fun way please?
Then we’d be grateful to you and your brand.
But I guess not.
Advertising people forget that they’re not the audience.
They think everyone wants what they want.
 And when the only tool you’ve got is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.