From the department of irrelevance in advertising

Google gets it right much of the time. Sometimes they get it really wrong. And they’re not the only ones.

I just sent an email, having to do with some rewritten text, from my Gmail account. The word ‘copywriting’ was used only in the headline of the email. Upon viewing the sent mail, I could see that Gmail’s AdSense system had placed an ad on “Copywriting Secrets” at the top of the message browser, which was attempting to entice me to “Start a Lucrative New Career in Copywriting Today.” I’ve been a professional copywriter for over 20 years, thank you. The result of this misplaced ad? I now know that iGoogle is less personal than Google would have me believe.

This is exactly why corporations waste so much money on advertising. It boils down to irrelevance. Why waste marketing dollars creating irrelevant messages?

I’ve been watching Hulu in the evenings during the past month. There’s one commercial that gets more air time than any other. It’s a Chevron commercial that talks about how there are more cleaning agents in their gas. That’s all well and good, however, what that tells me is that there is less actual gasoline in Chevron gas, which means that if I buy Chevron gas, I have to buy more of it to go the same distance I could get with any other company’s gasoline. The spokesperson in the commercial is an animated car. At the end of the spot, the car cutely says that it broke part of itself, (while on Chevron gas). The result of me seeing their commercial? I now know to avoid Chevron stations.

It’s not all that difficult to create great advertising. It’s much harder to create irrelevant advertising. It’s more expensive too.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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