The problem with most advertising isn’t that it’s bad. The problem is it’s ordinary. And while it may be perfectly fine for some things to be ordinary (after all, most things are), it’s not okay for advertising. Because only extraordinary advertising attracts attention, makes a firm connection with its audience and returns great value for the money spent on it.
So why isn’t more advertising extraordinary? It’s not because there aren’t enough people who can do it. Nor is it because clients don’t want it. It’s because too many people involved in the selection of advertising have had little if any training in how to do so. And that’s what this book provides.
Starting with the basic impediments to extraordinary advertising—like poor listening and even worse research—this book lays out the cardinal principles for getting to better than ordinary advertising. How to get a feel for what your audience wants to hear and know, not what you want to say. The critical role “truth” plays in extraordinary advertising. And how to develop a strategy that creates an open field for original thinking instead of box that constrains it.
Using many instructive examples (and more than a few amusing anecdotes), the book covers traditional positioning and how to put it to good use, along with a new and highly effective approach the author has dubbed “Zone” marketing.
Also included is a revealing look at “integrated marketing” and how disintegrated it largely remains. Some valuable insights into the semiotics of advertising communications, the role of new media and the potential impact of media killers like digital video recorders and since no book on advertising would be complete without it: a careful look at that much talked about but little understood concept: Branding.
For anyone involved in the selection of advertising or anyone whose business success is to some degree driven by advertising, this book will provide a straightforward, but highly untextbook-like guide to identifying, championing and understanding extraordinary advertising. Which, at the end of the day, is the only kind worth investing in.
Mark Silveira has had the good fortune to work with many of the “modern masters” of contemporary advertising.
Starting as a copywriter in Portland, Oregon, he came under the wing of Dan Wieden and Dave Kennedy and worked on some of the earliest Nike advertising.
Then he joined Ammirati & Puris in its heyday where he became a lead writer on BMW and BMW motorcycles during the period of those brands’ most robust growth. He was also responsible for some highly acclaimed advertising for Club Med. And part of the team that established UPS as a genuine rival to FedEx in the overnight delivery business.
From there he moved to Ally & Gargano working under Hall of Fame art director Amil Gargano on Saab, then to Scali, McCabe, Sloves, where he took over the creative work for Perdue Farms, trading places with Ed McCabe and Bob Levenson, both Hall of Fame copywriters. In fact, he has followed in the footsteps of no fewer than ten members of the One Club Hall of Fame (while never gaining admittance himself he’s quick to add).
However, what he did gain was a deep understanding of what it takes to identify and nurture extraordinary advertising. And an uncanny knack for explaining it to businesspeople. Based in Chicago he is now a consultant to advertisers and agencies as well as an author and speaker.