Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Brands, bottoms and Tories 

The policy-Lite stance of The Tories may actually make some sense, but only if you accept the conventional wisdom of the modern advertising industry.

There isn’t much mileage in ads listing lots of good things about a product, as the audience simply discounts these as puff. This is quite a problem when you have one specific item like a house or an used car for sale which is why estate agents and used car advertisers are so distrusted in popular culture. However if you have a big class of items for sale you can try selling a general image – which is where Brands come into play.

And the trick is to get across one or two simple ‘mood’ themes that get associated with the Brand. Its the real thing. Vorsprung durch Technic. Or whatever. Most people pay little attention to details but do pick up an impression of moods. So when they actually think about buying your kind of product, then they notice your second-level advertising which includes boring details.

The great example at the moment (and I think a brilliant meta-piss-take of the whole genre) is the series of car ads that has an earnest sales executive trying to describe the wonders of the car and all everyone else is interested in is how like a sexy bum the boot looks. The visuals are full of often very shapely people shaking their butts at the camera. The intention is to leave people with a slightly warm memory even if they can’t immediately remember the make of car, so that when they do come to buy a car they remember the warm moment and are more open to the sale.

So when Cameron speaks to the faithful at Bournemouth think leaping bums and you will understand what is going on. As a PR and media professional Cameron will be very aware of what he is doing and he expects it to work. So do his Kitchen-Blog Cabinet.

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