You have no idea how lucky you are to work within a limited advertising budget. More money doesn’t buy a better message. In fact, I’d wager the contrary is more often true: awash with money, the urgency of making each penny count matters less. Seemingly untethered from budgetary limitation, AT&T’s advertising braintrust birthed the following convoluted say-nothing ad:
What are they advertising?
What are we supposed to do or believe?
The lockout attempts to mop up the mess by saying, “your windows stuff goes with you.” (I suppose that includes viruses.) I’ve watched it a half-dozen times and still don’t get it. Is it an ad for windows mobile as a platform? Is it an ad for the phone? Is it an ad for AT&T’s mobile service?
Creative’s cardinal rule: one ad, one message.
This one is a train wreck of messages: platform, product, and carrier. The more messages you mash into one ad, the more muddled the message. Instead, keep it clean: Say one thing. Say it well. Shut up.
High-dollar ads like this fail because creativity hijacks the message and focus is lost. Bottom-line sales impact, meanwhile, gets shunted to the back of the bus right next to the customer’s true felt-need.
The ad also fails to show one application that isn’t already mobile without Windows Mobile. Even if you don’t tote a Blackberry, Android (Google), or iPhone, you can twitter, email, surf, etc. on most phones. What’s my plus-up for getting Windows Mobile? Beats me. I only know what the ad told me (or didn’t).
Focus where it matters
Because you probably can’t afford life-sized dancing icons in leotards, you wouldn’t get distracted creating a message like this. You’ll just have to settle for focusing on telling a compelling story based on the genuine felt-need of your customer in a way that more directly leads to a sale.
Those are the breaks when you advertise in the real world with a real budget. And, I’ll bet you didn’t realize it was a lucky break at that.