I’m grateful to Will for sending me this peach from The Ad Contrarian’s blog.
It’s true, us account men/planners can make life more complicated than necessary sometimes.
As this briefing conversation will show.
The phone rings:
RUTHIE: Robert, it’s your Aunt Ruthie.
ROBBIE: Hi Ruthie.
RUTHIE: Hello, darling.
ROBBIE: What’s up?
RUTHIE: I’m calling to ask a favor.
RUTHIE: My pickles are selling very well, and Big Save says they’ll put them in their supermarkets all across the country, but I have to do some advertising. So I thought as long as my nephew is a big shot advertising man, maybe your company could make an ad for me.
RUTHIE: So here’s what I want the ad to say… Aunt Ruthie’s Pickles are homemade, they taste wonderful and we use fresh ingredients.
ROBBIE: Well, okay, but we really need to think a little more about this.
ROBBIE: Well, first we need to understand the consumer.
RUTHIE: The consumer?
ROBBIE: It’s a…a person who buys things.
RUTHIE: Everyone buys things.
RUTHIE: So how is a consumer different from a person?
ROBBIE: Um…it’s not
RUTHIE: So why don’t you just call it a person?
ROBBIE: Okay, so it’s a person.
RUTHIE: Okay so you have to understand this…person. Why?
ROBBIE: So we can know how they use your product.
RUTHIE: They eat it. How else do you use a pickle?
ROBBIE: Well, yeah…but why do they eat it?
RUTHIE: Because it tastes good. (PAUSE) Robbie, are you okay?
ROBBIE: I’m fine. You see, we have to analyze who we should be talking to in our advertising. We call that a target audience. Should we talk to women 18-49 or men 25-34 or…?
RUTHIE: Why don’t we just talk to people who like pickles?
ROBBIE: Well you see, the perception of your brand has to resonate…
RUTHIE: My what?
ROBBIE: Your brand…it’s the personality of your product…
RUTHIE: My pickles have a personality?
ROBBIE: Well, it’s not the pickles that have the personality, it’s you, it’s Aunt Ruthie’s Pickles…
RUTHIE: My personality? I’m a pain in the ass. What the hell does anyone care about my personality?
ROBBIE: But Aunt Ruthie’s is your brand.
RUTHIE: I thought Aunt Ruthie’s was my name.
ROBBIE: And your name is your brand
RUTHIE: So why don’t you just call it my name? (PAUSE) Robert, are you having that problem you had back in college?
ROBBIE: You know I’ve committed to never doing that again…
RUTHIE: So why are you talking like this? Is this how you talk in your company?
ROBBIE: Well, yes. You see, Aunt Ruthie, we believe advertising isn’t really about selling your pickles. It’s about creating a relationship with your brand by having integrated communications that create advocates by over-delivering on brand expectations and creating relevant brand conversations…
RUTHIE: You know, honey, your cousin Stanley majored in English, maybe I’ll just ask him to write the ad..
ROBBIE: No, no….I’ll..
RUTHIE: Robbie, darling, you know I love you, right? And I would never say anything to hurt you. But listen to me, darling. You people are crazy.