Advertising Works. There, I Said It.

Who needs advertising? It’s mostly a colossal waste of money. Right?

According to research from Gavan Fitzsimons, a professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University, “the best result that an advertiser can hope for is to nudge us in the direction we were already going — reaffirming a slightly positive association with a brand that we already liked.”

I have to say Fitzsimons is selling advertising short here. I don’t already like Dodge, but thanks to W+K’s approach to the brand, I have a renewed interest in it.

American beer drinkers don’t already like Dos Equis, but thanks to the most interesting man in the world campaign, it’s now part of the conversation and a beer that people consider at the bar or grocery case.

Academics and other cultural critics want advertising to be without potency, but their desire does not make it so.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.