How Advertising Works

When I studied theatre I loved producing what we then called a “multimedia” production – the type that literally included multiple media mixed in amongst performance.

Intellectually I was working with “intertextuality” and experimenting with the points of intersection between these different texts (this was back when we talked about everything being a “text” that was “read”). But emotionally I was experimenting with layered storytelling – presenting one point of view, accentuating or limiting that point of view through performance, voice and body – and then challenging all that with visuals – usually in the form of slides or sometimes video projection.

It was a lot of fun and hugely challenging.

And this is what good advertising does too. It tells stories on different levels. It allows us to connect these stories, flattering us in the process. It can say one thing and mean another – all the while giving us a sly wink and a nudge.

Unfortunately most advertising is one dimensional. It pokes at us. Interrupts us. Irritates. As does a lot of branded social media. It’s about time we saw some sophistication in the planning and strategy of advertising and social media (ideally together). It really is.

And don’t blame the dog, we all know who is responsible.

3 thoughts on “How Advertising Works

  1. Love the site! Well done. This blog echoed my thinking when creating Wealie… Take a static, passive medium like a paper loyalty card from somewhere like a coffee shop and make it come alive, be dynamic and engage customers in real time but keep it remarkably simple. Create loyalty by developing a sense of ownership through familiarity and insight rather than mere price point. That’s loyalty! Isn’t that what advertising is supposed to do?

  2. Indeed that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I have catched some glimpses of the insides of marketing while reading some of Yury Mintskovsky’s articles and I can truly say that it’s a jungle, probably the most fierce and ruthless one there is.

  3. People tend to be addicted to one dimensional advertising. I miss the days when advertising is all about values and passion. We still get to see some these days, but not as much anymore.

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