Let The Product Or Service Speak

The Hidden Persuader posted this Neil Frenchism last week.

“The answer to making an ad is always in the product, if you look for it. Our task is not just to find that answer though – it’s to make the answer relevant to someone who, at present, doesn’t give a shit about it. So first I look at the product and deconstruct it … what Robin Wight used to call ‘interrogating it until it confesses to its strenghts’.”

Perhaps French and I are old-fashioned, if not old, but I agree wholeheartedly with his assessment. My favorite works always reveals a product attribute in some new way I wouldn’t have considered.
For instance, Starbucks bottled frappuccino drinks are currently supported by a spot where a woman walks through her office place while burdensome objects magically attach themselves to her as she progresses toward the kitchen. The product benefit here is that Starbucks can help—if only temporarily—remove stress from your day. It’s a memorable and modern take on the time-honored coffee break.
Burger King’s advertainment angle, care of CP+B, takes another approach—one that has nothing to do with BK’s inherent advantages over McDonald’s and Wendy’s. I’d love to see the Coconut Grovesters come up with a refreshing spin on flame-broiled. Mr. French might enjoy that, as well.



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.