A while back, I wrote on twitter that I liked the Fever Tree campaign line:


Someone commented: “Their share price is down, can’t be much of a campaign”.

So I replied: “Do you work in advertising or accountancy?”

They replied: “That isn’t worthy of you”

Well, let me tell you why it is worthy of me.

My job is advertising, here’s what my job isn’t.

My job isn’t: pricing, or distribution, or training sales-staff, or manufacturing, or packaging, or quality control, or PR, or investor-relations, or employee morale, or staff turnover.

My job isn’t anything to do with running the company or making sure a quality product is delivered to the retailer on time at a reasonable price.

I figure all of those are the client’s jobs.

There may be many reasons people are, or aren’t, buying the product.

But to assume that advertising is responsible ON ITS OWN for making any product a success or failure is pretty silly.

To assume that advertising can make you buy something you don’t want is pretty silly.

To assume advertising can make you buy something that isn’t available in the store you’re in, or make you buy something in the wrong size, or the wrong colour, or something you can’t afford – to assume any of that is advertising’s job would be pretty silly, right?

So why would we assume that advertising can affect the share price of the company?

And if we did want the advertising to affect the share price of the company, wouldn’t we run ads about the company in the Financial Times, directed towards shareholders?

It’s pretty naïve to think: consumer ad = sales go up = share price goes up.

So, given all those things advertising doesn’t do, what does it do?

Advertising is a communication that will hopefully make you aware of the product, and what’s good about it, and help you remember it.

That’s the best that advertising can do.

Figures show over £20 BILLION is spent on all forms of advertising and marketing in the UK each year.

We are each exposed to around 2,000 advertising messages a day – we can’t even notice them all, much less remember them all.

Of that number, 4% is remembered positively, 7% is remembered negatively, 89% isn’t noticed or remembered.

So our job, if we’re doing it properly, is to be in the 4%.

(Or at the very least, in the 7%.)

Because if we’re in the 89%, it’s just money wasted, around £18 BILLION a year.

And notice, the odds are 9-1 AGAINST being noticed or remembered.

Now the reason to do a powerful ad (in any media) is that it will stand much more chance of getting noticed and remembered.

If it gets noticed and remembered, the client gets value for money.

If we can make the ads work harder, if we can make them go viral, we can make £5 million do the work of £20 million.

That’s £15 million of free media, media the client hasn’t paid for.

That’s what advertising is supposed to be doing.

And we can only do that properly if we concentrate on doing our job, instead of thinking we are supposed to be doing all those other jobs that are nothing to do with us.

Jobs like worrying about the share price.

Which is why I asked that person if they were in advertising or accountancy.

It’s important to know what our job is so we can do it properly.