Brand Advertising

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Brand Advertising as Creative Pubiicity

ANDREW EHRENBERG South Bank University ehrenba@sbu.ac.uk NEIL BARNARD South Bank University RACHEL KENNEDY University of South Australia HELEN BLOOM Consultant HelenBloom@ compuserve.com

Our view of brand advertising is that it mostly serves to publicize the advertised brand. Advertising seldom seems to persuade. Advertising in a competitive market needs to maintain the brand's broad salience—being a brand the consumer buys or considers buying. This turns on brand awareness, but together with memory associations, familiarity, and brand assurance. Publicity can also help to develop such salience. This publicity view of advertising should affect both the briefs that are given to agencies (e.g., that cut-through is more important than having a persuasive selling proposition) and how we then evaluate the results. But since few advertisements seem actively to seek to persuade, how much do the advetisements themselves have to change, rather than just how we think and talk about them?

seems io work mainly by creati\ely publicizing the brand, without trying to persuade people that tlie brand differs h'om t)ther brands, or \s better or best. Fairly tew advertisements actually feature pofentially pcrsuasi\'e inducements tor flu'ir brand. \ o r do they USUCTIIV appear to change people's opinions. BKAND ADVERTISINC; THREE KEY CONCEPTS

Publicity is often highly creative, to achie\e impact. Some publicity is iVee. Much is paid for. Publicity need not claim or imply differentiating \'alues for the brand (although it may do so): "1 saw you on tele\'ision but can't remember what you said." I he publicizing function of good brand advertising is all-pervasive. But it is seldom discussed nowadays. Hence this paper. Persuasion

Three key terms used hero are now briefly outlined, namely; Publicitv, Persuasion, and Salience. They are discussed later in more detail. Implications tor sales are noted, and there is a concluding discussion. Publicity

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Publicity is usually defined as "Bringing X to public notice." Remarkably, Ihis is much like traditional dictionary definitit)ns ot advertising: "Making publicly known by an announcement in a journal, circular, etc." lOFA), 2000]. Historically, ad\'ertising was often synonymous with publicity, and in our \it'vv it still largely is. Publicity sometimes cunx'eys nev\' information: "The preacher this Sunday is the Reverend X-" But mostly it reminds already-knowledgeable people: "The morning service is (again) at 10 am." Or "Ccike Is It."

Many people seem to believe that advertising has a primarily persuasix'e function. For instance, the millennium edition of the jouniai of Marketing stated (Myers-Levy and Malaviya, 1999): "Persuasion is the tmly mode [of advertising! worth)' of consideration." \iall Fitzgerald, joint Chairman of Unilever, has noted that ("1997): "Most experts and commentators belie\ e that branding . . . is little more . . . than persuading consumers . . . " Tim Ambler (2000) has voiced a similar sentiment about the United States: "The assumption that adx'ertising equals persuasion is so ingrained in the USA that to challenge it elicits much the same reaction as questioning your partner's parentage." July . August 2 0 0 2 JOOfillllL OFfiDUERTISIflGBESEflRCH 7

BRAND ADVERTISING

Io persnadi' sorneoiu' [•- io give them a asi^n or an incenfi\"e, or io Induce a 1, in order to change vvliaf they think or leel, and [hen perhaps do. In Si're;;;,' p e r s u a s i o n , the ad\"ocae\" would he nK>re explicit, like a church jirod a i m i n g "AUend Sui"ides buy. Salience con develop through advertising as publieitv, I'K, wnrtl-ol--mouth, retail displ.iy, s p o n s o r s h i p , and...
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