Is Advertising for Losers?

I am an avid fan of AMC’s Mad Men, a show that depicts the glamourous and glossy lives of advertising executives in the 1960s.

That said, when I saw Todd Defren’s post “Advertising Will Be For Losers,” I was a little surprised and confused. Defren explains that the smarter companies and organizations have started to use public relations engagement rather than advertising. Advertising has become a sign of a struggling brand. The most successful brands are using outreach efforts like Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon and relying on consumer engagement rather than pushing information through advertising.

Personally, I think there is a careful balance between the three main components of communication: marketing, advertising and public relations. If one component is left out, many times, the campaigns are incomplete. I think advertising is still a powerful method of communication. Brands are not able to rely on the traditional methods, simply because no one is using those methods. Advertisers who refuse to progress are usually associated with those brands who have ineffective advertising.

Defren believes that “Advertising will be left to those with losing products.” Do you believe that advertising is for older brands? Do you think less of brands that advertise?

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6 Responses to Is Advertising for Losers?

  1. caolson says:

    I agree that there should definitely be a balance among PR, advertising and marketing; however, I also understand where Defren is coming from. To me, it seems like the value in the skills and abilities of PR practitioners out-weighs those of advertisers. Particularly, the fact that PR serves to create long-lasting relationships, to me, is more valuable than being able to place ads. I definitely think there’s room for all three if a business wants to succeed in all realms possible, but in some ways, I do believe that PR has more to offer.

  2. smwillar says:

    I will admit to being a little biased when it comes to the struggles between PR and advertising because I am a PR student. Since my Intro to Public Relations class, I have been told that advertisers will try to say that they are well-versed in public relations in order to gain more clout with clients; faking their brief interactions with the public as being comparable to a full-fledged strategic communications campaign. However, we all know there is a lot more work required of a PR practitioner.

    Brands that advertise, rather than develop their relationships with the public, are stuck in the past where it used to be okay to talk down to the public, rather than allowing them to interact with the brand on a personal level. Especially with the rise of social media, people no longer take kindly to having the communication channels restricted and a company is likely to suffer if they are not taking the engagement of their target audience into consideration.

  3. dlkline says:

    As a babyboomer, I am used to seeing advertising on many different products. I personally believe that will continue for both winning and losing companies and products. As a PR student, I have been taught that marketing and advertising are very different than PR. I must say that I somewhat disagree as I feel they all crossover at times and can blend together. I therefore do not believe advertising is for losers.

  4. estrapko says:

    I agree with you that a successful campaign for launching a new product or service should include all three components and advertising is one of them. Personally, I don´t see brands like Coca-Cola or McDonald´s stopping their advertising in the future. And they are definitely not “loser brands.”

  5. rsutherl says:

    Interesting idea! I thought about it, and my best idea is this: advertising creates an illusion that inspires us to engage with a product or service. It’s dream fulfillment in the form of a promise that life is not what we experience every day. Swiffer ads anthropomorphize dirt and film on our floors. Allstate makes mayhem hilarious — what a wonderful world!

    If all I had to go on were real-life user reviews, I’d never think twice about a mop. But advertising, in its best form, transcends reality and promises an ideal, fantastical world. I’d have trouble carrying out my capitalist duties in a world without advertising!

  6. abwolfe says:

    I would agree that those three main components are needed. I don’t believe that just because the current top companies don’t use it makes it obsolete. What about beer companies? They advertise all the time, and I don’t think anyone would argue that the beer industry is in trouble. Soda, beer, liquor and fast food all advertise heavily, and they are all very successful industries. Advertising is still a staple of this economy and important to building a company and getting their message out.

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