You Lost Me At Hello

Data and creativity need to ally when it comes to great advertising.

When either is missing it usually amounts to a bad ad and a missed opportunity. Here’s a quick scenario to prove the point.

Target demographic: Engineering department who eat in the canteen on the second floor.

The challenge: To bring to life the reality of free cupcakes at reception in an already saturated lunchtime conversation vertical.

The insight: Cupcakes are the number one vice for engineers according to Engineers Weekly.

Desired outcome: A run on reception resulting in a full on cupcake party.

So, we know where our audience is and they love what we sell. Should be easy, right?

Yes, all you have to do is the nail the creative. Yet often the industry gets it wrong. Underestimating the importance of being succinct and single-minded with creative is one of the most common, yet easily avoidable mistakes people make.

Let’s look at how we can convey the message. Stroll purposefully into the canteen. At the top if your lungs scream “Hey”. Silence. They’re looking at you with those cupcake starved eyes. This is it. You’ve got their attention. You need to seal the deal by saying something good before you lose them. The chat with HR about your bizarre behavior is inevitable, but don’t let that stop you. This is your moment.

But what do you say?

One - “Free cupcakes at reception. Go!”

Two - “Due to a positive shift in the demeanour of our highest ranking staff member our reception area now contains a number of paper wrapped solids comprised of flour, butter and sugar.”

Option one is the right message to the right audience. It guarantees cupcake annihilation. With option two, most people will be lost before the end of the first sentence. There’s a reason advertising like option two exists. It usually comes from advertising by committee, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Conversely, let’s imagine that we don’t know that the engineering department eats on the second floor. You put together a clear and compelling message but you don’t know how to accurately reach your target audience. You can’t just broadcast the message to everyone. There are not enough cupcakes to go around. So now you have the opposite scenario, a great message but you don’t know your audience.

So while this is a rather crude and lighthearted analogy, it’s actually sums up what happens regularly in advertising. Broadcast to the wrong audience and a great ad or piece of creative essentially becomes redundant. Get the correct audience, yet incorrect messaging and you have the unfortunate case of you lost me at hello. Clearly, both data and creativity need to be given equal weight.