Advertising vs. Experience

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by: David Polinchock

This is part of our slide that we use during our presentations and although it’ll just be short post here, it’ll hopefully start an interesting conversation.

Paul McEnany writing over at Hee-Haw Marketing: Build Me One of them Dinasours! also has a great post about the same concept. But I have to say, he was a much better video to illustrate his post and yes, I’ve borrowed it here too! Hope that’s cool Paul! And David Armano has a great piece on designing experiences entitled Developing an Experience Strategy in 4 Parts over on his blog and he has much better graphics then I do too. Damn, I really have to learn to draw better! Everyone’s talking experience these days!

So the quick point is this. Experience always trumps advertising. Always in the long run anyway. We’ll give you one, maybe two times where your experience doesn’t match your advertising and then we’re gone. And we’re not likely to come back anytime soon. Not without a really, strong compelling reason.

So while companies like Home Depot, all the airlines and US automakers (and many others) reach out to new agencies to help them craft a better message, what they really need is great experience designers to help them create compelling, authentic and relevant brand experiences. Without that first step, they’re really just going to piss away hundreds of millions of dollars with little or no positive impact on their business.

On the same note, a few weeks back, I wrote Experience Manifesto: American Takes Flak Over Bag Fee, Despite PR Strategy – Advertising Age – News, a piece about how much of a hard time American Airlines was taking for their baggage fees. Just a few days ago, JetBlue announced charges for blankets & pillows (New JetBlue charge: $7 pillow, blanket – Aug. 4, 2008) and they received much less flak so far. Why? It’s simple. We believe that JetBlue has always been there to help us, so we’re ready to help them when they need it. Most other airlines? They’ve never given us a lick of help, so when they ask for it, we’re not so inclined to help.

So, as you go about your planning and looking at agencies and cool commercials and viral campaigns and branded entertainment and social media and island in Second Life and WOM marketing and everything else you do, remember this simple thought. If your advertising doesn’t match your experience, your audience walks.

  • There’s a big difference between the advertising model and the experience model in terms of making an authentic connection with your audience.
  • It’s relatively simple to get people to talk about you, it’s much harder to get them to buy you.
  • Where does "create a better experience" fall on your list of reasons to create your processes and procedures?

    Extinct, my ASS! from The Original Joe Fisher on Vimeo.