Your Ads are Too Successful…What Do You Do?
Last week, I wrote about the car dealership that claimed it had leftover advertising money so it was giving away the cash to get rid of it.
Now, there’s a news story about a company whose advertising is too successful, so it killed off its popular spokesman.
Don’t you wish you had problems like these?
If you’ve been around long enough, you recognize William Shatner as Star Trek’s iconic Captain James T. Kirk, but lately he’s played the role of The Negotiator for Priceline, the travel discount company. “Lately” in his case means the past 14 years.
Now, Priceline wants to change from a “name your price” company to a fixed discount provider. A Priceline representative says Shatner is so identified with the negotiating aspect that they need a complete change — which means killing off The Negotiator, literally.
An upcoming Priceline commercial shows Shatner helping rescue tour bus passengers, but going down with this ship…I mean, bus…as it plunges to a fiery end at the bottom of a chasm.
Maybe it all sounds ludicrous to you, but there’s a message for financial services marketers in this story.
It’s not about killing off your messenger. Rather, it’s about longevity.
Priceline used Shatner and the same “name your price” message for 14 years. How long do you stick with product messages? Are your advertising messages consistent? Or, do YOU get tired of looking at the same or similar message so you switch to something new? Do you arbitrarily change every six months or year?
The old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If your advertising message is having success, don’t dump it simply to have something different. YOU tire of your advertising long before the public does. You should hit consumers with a familiar message over and over so they think of your institution’s name like Pavlov’s dog thinks of food when it hears a bell.
I’ve repeatedly told clients, your prospects don’t tape your mail pieces and print ads onto their refrigerators or pin them on bulletin boards for future reference. You need to repeat your message over and over until consumers connect it with your company’s name.
When Priceliine uses the same identifiable messenger for 14 years, surely there’s value in keeping your successful ad message running as long as it continues to sell.
Read Ad Budget Too Big? Give It Away! for more about the car dealership promotion mentioned above.