Brand Versus Action-A story from last year still applies today

Last year I received a direct mail piece that made me cringe as a Creative Director.  It was from a local auto dealership, trying to get me to part with another 5 years of monthly payments for a newer car. The design was horsy, the offer huge and in a gaudy burst, and there must have been 8 different typefaces, all different sizes. Whew, it exhausts me just thinking about it.


Yet, this same company has me waiting/hoping every Superbowl for a new spiffy creative ad spot. You know the type, thoughtful and slightly edgy ads that have me visualizing myself behind the wheel and enjoying life more than a person should.

Honda Ad

Both the branding spot and the direct mail piece were obviously created by professionals. So, why would they be so completely different in tone, feel and objective? And, as someone who has created many direct mail pieces, WHY does that mailer suck so completely on a design basis.

I’m sure there is a person that can cite a piece of data that lets me know that the DM pulled blah, blah response, etc. And I know that my brand awareness has increased from the brand ad campaign. But, hmm, I still haven’t gone and dropped the cash for that new car.

Neither project worked on me. Therefore something’s wrong with both. Or, with me. I choose the former.

I believe that that Honda TV spot should have worked harder to move me to action. And, the DM piece should have not felt like a monkey designed it with a pile of typefaces at his disposal.

The DM piece would have been more successful if it made me feel great about being a new Honda owner, AND giving specific calls to action that enticed me to act. The brand spot could have a micro-site attached to the campaign, an 800 number or a cool offer.

Why can’t they both just get along?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 at 11:41 pm and is filed under General Thoughts on Advertising. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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