Advertising Takes It On The Chin

The above graphic is being used to promote the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s upcoming conference and new blog. And while it’s beyond obvious that advertising is a target of much scorn from just about every corner these days, is it not paradoxical that a group advocating one form of advertising is degrading the category as a whole?
Popular lecturer, author and corporate advisor, Tom Asacker, makes the case in a comment.

So let me get this straight: “Consumers only cared about being part of something amazing.”
Makes sense. And so, if the business model, product or service is amazing, consumers become engaged and word-of-mouth kicks in. Seems like stating the obvious to me.
And if the category is simply not amazing, then marketers should do what? Make it amazing? That makes sense too.
So then what exactly is WOMMA advocating? Making ordinary stuff remarkable or creating buzz around ordinary stuff? Because remarkable stuff doesn’t need you, now do they?

I think I prefer the old days, when word-of-mouth couldn’t be manufactured, or manipulated. But I probably just don’t get it, being an ad guy and all.



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.