May 22, 2017

What Happened to On “Message”?

There is a prevailing theory by many marketers of kosher foods that the best marketing strategy is simply visibility. Hence, in recent years a product or institution came to be judged by the size of the ads in one of the many magazines and newspapers that target the kosher market. To be sure, this strategy has turned out to be a boon for the media, which thanks to Shabbos, the Jewish Sabbath, are thriving at a time when print media in the general market is in decline. So successful has the kosher industry been of late, that few evaluate the impact of their advertising. In other words, they have no clue whether their ads are actually responsible for sales growth. One retailer told me: “What’s the difference? I know that I have to be there because my competitor is there!”

But the one thing that many of these ads lack is a clear message about the benefits of the product. Advertising professionals agree that the best ads are those that clearly spell out how the product will make life better or easier for the consumer. A cute slogan is no replacement for copy that actually describes the product and touts its benefits. We call that being “on message” and the best that can be said for some advertisers nowadays is that there is “no message.” That is a shame because the market is sophisticated and certainly ready for ads that are on message.

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