Good ads are magic, but can they salvage bad products?
Today, when information moves from one corner of the world to another in seconds, effective marketing/advertising is key to ensure a successful product. But are they so important that they can salvage a bad product? Probably not. There are many cases when big brands have fell flat on their faces despite spending big bucks on advertising. How exactly is advertising related to success?
Let's talk first about why advertising is important
Consumerism is at an all-time high. With the advent of internet and social media, one now has access to an unlimited range of products sitting right at one's home. Competition is booming. Unless a brand invests in effective advertising, chances of getting noticed are limited.
So what makes a good ad?
To hit the right note, an advertising campaign has to be meaningful. It has to tell a story that the consumer can connect to. Remember our Amul Girl? Creativity is important. Today, many are leveraging a global revolution that is shaking almost every sector. Check out Myntra's 'Bold is beautiful' campaign. The brand's likeability and trust factor also have a role to play.
Can good advertising save bad products? The 'crusaders' who failed
Sometime in 2012-2013, people cheered as Dell actively invested in social engagement. Around the same time, its profits fell 72% on sluggish PC sales. In the 1990s, Gap's ads were a cultural phenomenon in the US. Surprisingly, the effects didn't last till the millennium: in 2001, sales had fallen 12%, 7% in 2002, and 5% in 2005.
The list goes on...
In 1992, PepsiCo launched Crystal Pepsi, which they marketed as a "healthy, pure-diet beverage". It was probably curiosity that drove up sales initially. Then consumers found it tasted just like original Pepsi. In 1998, Frito-Lay launched their "miracle food": WOW Chips. The tantalizing marketing claim was about this "fat-free" ingredient, Olestra. Sales went up, then crashed when people started reporting laxative effects.
Even Brand SRK failed to save Harry and Sejal!
As recently as last year, once-upon-a-time actress Neha Dhupia reiterated what she said over 10 years ago: only sex and SRK sell. But apparently not. Even King Khan failed to save his latest release, 'Jab Harry Met Sejal'. "It leaves you wishing they hadn't met," NDTV said. "Jab Harry Met Sejal, SRK delivered a hat-trick of disappointing films," India Today declared.
The other way round: Can bad advertising disturb good products?
Many times. In the 90s, Energizer's Bunny campaign went viral. Turns out, people didn't even remember which brand the ad belonged to. 40% customers connected Bunny to Duracell. In 2014, U2 collaborated with Apple and forced their new album into 500mn Apple devices irrespective of users' choice. Fans weren't happy. Taco Bell's Chihuahua in the 90s apparently led directly a 6% fall in sales.
An advertising campaign has to be handled delicately and sensitively
Brand success is a mysterious area. A study found that even bad reviews can boost sales, but only if consumers are already familiar with the product. There are real risks associated with bad advertising, especially at a time when situations around the world are sensitive. One has to take utmost care while devising an ad campaign: the product's life is at stake.