One reason a lot of advertising doesn’t work is that Media and Creative are in separate buildings.
Usually they’re separate companies, employed separately by the client.
In fact the client often decides the media with the media company before calling the ad agency and telling them where the ads will be running.
This reduces the ad agencies contribution to the last little bit of the advertising process.
It produces kneejerk thinking, which is the absolute opposite of creativity.
Let me give you an example –
We did a pitch for a brewery, their sales were going down.
The brief was for a new TV advertising campaign and ours researched the best, so we won.
But when they ran our campaign sales continued to decline.
We couldn’t work it out, drinkers loved our commercials, so why weren’t they working.
Well think about it, how do you buy a pint of beer?
Do you stand in a pub and think, ‘I love those beer ads I saw on TV last night. But they don’t sell the beer here, so I’d better leave and look around until I find a pub that has got it.’
I don’t think that’s what you do.
I think you pick a pub because you like the pub, and because your mates like the pub, and so you choose from whatever the pub’s got on the bar.
Usually there’ll be a draught stout (probably Guinness), two draught lagers (one Australian, one European) and two bitters (one ordinary, one premium).
If our beer isn’t on the bar it can’t get sold.
No matter how much anyone likes the advertising.
So that changes the job of the advertising.
The real job in this situation is to persuade the publican to take our competitor off the bar, and replace it with our beer.
The people doing that job are the sales force who go round during the day and visit the publican.
How can we support them in changing his mind.
Well, what isn’t the publican doing while he’s running his pub?
That’s right, he isn’t at home watching TV.
So a brief to the agency for TV commercials probably isn’t the best place to start.
What he is doing, during the day, is driving or walking to and from  his pub.
And obviously, all of his customers have to drive and or walk to and from his pub too.
So what will they all be passing when they’re doing all that travelling?
So posters sited around targetted pubs, could persuade the publican that there’s a huge advertising campaign for our beer that all his regulars will see a lot.
Consequently he would sell a lot more of our beer than the competitor that’s currently on his bar.
So get rid of theirs and replace it with ours.
That’s how the advertising could work with the sales force.
So our next job was to go to the media agency and ask them if it was possible to shift the money into posters.
They said of course it was possible.
They only picked TV because the client said he wanted a fast-uplift in sales, and TV is traditionally where you go for that.
Plus which, the advertising hadn’t been done at that point, so they just went for what they thought would be a safe solution to give to the ad agency.
The good news is that after our campaign started running, the sales decline was reversed and sales started to go up.
Not because people saw our ads and ran down to the pub screaming, ‘I love the advertising, give me some of that beer.’
But because, when they were in the pub, ours was the beer on the bar.
The way our advertising worked with the sales force is the way media works best with creative: together not seperate.