Your Ads Fail Because Your Ideas Suck

Everything that’s old is new again. At least in advertising it is.

David Ogilvy, the now-deceased man hailed as “The Father of Advertising,” once famously said “the consumer isn’t a moron. She’s your wife.”

Those insights are more true than ever today. Even amidst a growing obsession with ad tech – programmatic buying, beacon technology, virtual reality and augmented reality and so on.

Sure, these advances have made advertisers more agile and capable. But the best tech in the world isn’t worth a damn if the message falls flat. And in a cluttered competitive ad space, it often does.

Think about the last time you remembered an ad, like really remembered an ad. The type of video or image that made you say “wow” or “ROFLMAO.”

Now think about where you saw it.

If you’re not sure, or only kind of sure, you’re not alone. Consumer ad recall is ubiquitously about the ad itself, and almost never about the medium.

Here’s the lesson – no matter the tech, a great ad campaign should never put methods before messages. The idea should lead; the medium should follow.

Transcendent ideas have always been at the center of advertising. They still are.