The Week: Best of the blogs - Aim for the heart

Paul Feldwick's presentation totally rocked my socks. His basic thesis: "Ads must aim for the heart, not the head." We all know that. But Feldwick's point is that we don't act on it.

"We know brand preferences usually aren't rational," he says, "and yet we still persist in trying to put rational messages into our advertising." What's the rational message in successful brand-building campaigns such as the PG Tips chimps, or "wassup"? There isn't one. Let's face it, even when there is information about the product, it's not the sell.

The lovely thing about Feldwick's point of view is that he leads us straight back to Bill Bernbach. The success of an advertisement is dependent on creativity, emotion and execution; not logic, strategy and message.

"Suppose," Bernbach wrote, "Winston Churchill had said 'We owe a lot to the RAF' instead of 'Never was so much owed by so many to so few', do you think the impact would have been the same?"

I wonder whether the product information might be necessary as a "justifier"? Just like you can't eat two spoonfuls of honey without a slice of wholemeal toast to justify it, maybe the Barclaycard consumer needs the rational "purchase insurance" message to feel that the rug-based entertainment is justified.

Planners: needn't fret. We'll still need a brief. But it should talk about the desired associations, rather than information to be communicated.

But no more briefs about hops and barley and shit. For real.


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