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Irritating Ads - Good, Bad or Ugly?

I am sure you can think of an irritating television ad. You have probably even been angry that its annoying jingle or phrase is stuck in your head all day. To marketers, what critics and consumers foc...

I am sure you can think of an irritating television ad. You have probably even been angry that its annoying jingle or phrase is stuck in your head all day. To marketers, what critics and consumers focus on as “bad” advertising really is not bad in most cases. If the advertising gets people into stores or leads more traffic to Web sites, it is all good advertising. It does not matter if people like it; it matters if people remember it.For instance, in 2000 Budweiser launched its “Whassup?!” campaign, where people asked each other “Whassup?!” with their tongues hanging ridiculously out of their mouths. The younger demographic of 18- to 24-year-olds liked the campaign, while the older demographic of people over 65 did not like them or did not understand them. However, the older generation did know the commercial being referred to when asked, and that is the important part – memorability.A 2007 telephone survey conducted by Streetblimps Inc., an outdoor marketing company, found that 7% of survey respondents stated that they were slightly more likely to purchase a product if the ad was annoying, 4% stated they were somewhat more likely to purchase and 11% were most likely to purchase the product. The survey also found that of the people who were more likely to buy the product because the ad was memorable, 70% said they were more likely to remember the product and 23% were less likely to remember the product. Irritating ads at least get an A for memorability, if not for driving more sales.Factors that contribute to the effectiveness of irritating ads are media weighting and familiarity with the product.Media weighting. This refers to discovering the likely amount of exposure of your marketing message that each of your chosen media can produce. This only includes exposure to your target audience. It is important that you choose where and when your ad will reach your target audience. You have to find the right frequency to show them the ad. There is a fine line between tolerating an annoying ad and ignoring the ad. If you use commercial printing methods, do not saturate the local market with flyers, billboards and other color printing materials.Familiarity with the product. Familiarity is the most vital aspect in the effectiveness of advertising. It is memorability. People remember your product, business and past ads (for instance, color printing pieces and commercial printing pieces, such as flyers). They have become familiar with your brand and therefore will tolerate the annoying ad and buy the product based on their familiarity with your company. Customers are inclined to pay more attention to ads from a familiar brand and they make connections between their experiences with the brand and the ad. Therefore, basically if the brand is familiar and has had a positive connection with the customer in the past, the customer is more willing to accept the message in the irritating ad and respond by buying the product.Just because an ad is well liked does not always mean it will increase sales. As you now knowArticle Submission, an irritating ad will not always decrease or produce stagnant sales. It is up to you to determine your target audience and how this target audience will receive and respond to an ad that could be considered irritating.

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Kaye Z. Marks

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