3 Big Advertising Mistakes to Leave in 2017 + Cases

city lights

Making New Year’s resolutions is no less typical than drinking champagne when the clock strikes twelve. It’s a great chance to “start anew” and “leave everything bad behind”. Why don’t we follow the best practices and see what advertising mistakes and misconceptions should not come along into 2018? Real stories from the world-famous brands will serve as a good illustration.

1. Advertising without or ignoring research data

David Ogilvy said:

Although the importance of research in advertising is being stressed over and over again so often it makes you sick, companies keep on stumbling over its lack and reaping the bitter fruit.

The American giant Ford made a similar mistake back in 1960s, when, ignoring the research data (which was available in abundance), it released its infamous model Edsel based on the already existing designs. The car had 18 modifications to suit every taste yet none of them was wanted by the customers due to numerous flaws. To make matters worse, Ford dumped the effective sales tactics based on research data and used doubtful sketchy technics instead. This mistake cost the company $350 million and a couple of years to admit the failure and stop trying to sell the model.

2. Creating a promo you cannot afford

Also David Ogilvy noticed:

Promos and deals are everywhere, and it seems they are never coming to an end. Nevertheless, most of them look like just tricks used to engage audience rather than valuable offers for the customers.

If you want to create a great offer, beware – before you step in, make sure the deal would mean financial benefits for the company, and not just for the customers, or you risk being caught into the same trap as Hoover.

Here’s the story. In 1992, in an attempt to create a deal that’s hard to resist (in order to quickly get rid of the aged stock), Hoover brand, mostly known for producing vacuum cleaners, and whose name was synonymical to vacuuming, went too far in its promotion in the UK. It offered 2 free return tickets to the USA for every £100 spent for Hoover products. They ended up actually giving each customer the equivalent of about $1250 for $235 spending, and lost around $68 million in the promotion. The company never recovered from such a huge loss and was later partially acquired by Candy manufacturer.

3. Following the competitors’ example

Lynda Resnick:

It is imperative for any kind of business (except for totally unique ones which are very rare), to never lose sight of their competitors in order to withstand the competition and thrive. But it doesn’t mean copying them or following their example. On the contrary, the best way to break through in a highly competitive environment would be to expose your peculiarities and remain special.

For example, let’s take Dollar Shave Club. Their advertisements keep going viral over the Internet and making them super popular. The secret? They took a way totally different from their big competitors like Gillette – and kicked off ad campaigns that are funny and honest and like nothing else. Do you think they would be so successful if they simply followed the best practices in their niche? Highly unlikely… So, find your “angle” and spread the word in your own unique way.

Bottom line

Apparently, mistakes are inevitable in each undertaking, and even famous brands aren’t insured against failures. However, the biggest advertising mistake you can make is never advertise at all – even if you think you’ve got “enough business”, or you “can’t afford it”.

Well, according to Steuart Henderson Britt:

So, go ahead, pick the most suitable advertising media and types among the head-spinning multitude of choices and spread the word! TRACKLAM will be happy to lend a hand – our online ad network handles both digital and out of home ad placement, campaign running and tracking with ease, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, so make sure you give it a try!