Friday, January 11, 2008/
With a new marketing-savvy PM in the Lodge, maybe it is also time for a brand, spanking new manifesto for marketers to adhere to…
I think I will contact Kevin07, through Facebook of course, with the following demands for inclusion in his Government’s inaugural “marketing essentials” legislation:
1. Marketers will be forbidden from staging “huge” sales more than once every six months
You can’t keep holding your “biggest ever” sale every few weeks. No-one believes you. All this does is to detract from the true impact of the traditional bi-annual sales, leading shoppers to ignore you completely during those few weeks of the year when you attempt to sell your products at somewhere close to retail price. If retailers can’t self-regulate, maybe they need some legislation to help clarify matters. The proposed new “keep sales special” legislation will allow for two four week windows a year, only one of which can use advertising that features crazed shoppers ripping open cartons of merchandise.
2. No print ads will be permitted to carry more than two lines of small print
No offer should be so complicated that it requires that many disclaimers. And if it does, then maybe the marketer should spend more time getting their product right before they get around to advertising it (no exceptions for mobile phone companies). Any marketer found breaking this rule will be required by legislation to include a picture of a weasel next to the small print in all their print advertising for the next three months.
3. There will be a new code of conduct covering the usage of “celebrities” in TV advertising
Let KFC’s cringeworthy Aussie cricketers campaign be a lesson to all marketers – hackneyed ideas, poorly executed and run at high media weights do no credit to the brand or the celebrities involved. Their agents should surely be doing a better job in protecting the dignity of their charges, but where that doesn’t happen, then legislation will ensure that offenders are called to task and the same celebrities will be forced to record make-good ads to apologise to the general public for insulting their intelligence.
4. Exclamation marks in copy will be subject to strict rationing
These are akin to a comedian following the punchline by saying: “That was the funny bit.” If you need to say it, then it wasn’t funny in the first place. Well written copy shouldn’t have to rely on such obvious tactics to make a point. A limit of one exclamation mark per print ad or page of copy should be established with legislation ordering repeat offenders to have their computers reprogrammed to remove the offending piece of punctuation.
5. An independent “advertising relevance” panel will be appointed with far reaching powers
Brands consistently interrupting consumers’ enjoyment of media content to provide hopelessly irrelevant and inappropriate messages will be penalised. This legislation will ensure these advertisers will have future message placement decisions made for them by the panel. Their ads will be placed exclusively in media environments that consumers find equally annoying and irrelevant until they raise their game. Let the punishment fit the crime.
So there we have it. The foundations of a new piece of legislation that I feel will endear Kevin07 to the general public even more so than his election campaign.
I will keenly await its passage through the Senate.
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