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You have to feel for advertising agencies in this now digital world. The things they excel at, strategy, creativity, brand stewardship and the emotional sell have had to take the back seat as more immediate forms of persuasion – finding the right product at the right time and place – take precedence for the consumer.
If I were to walk into a car showroom today it’s less than likely to be the result of watching some generic Euro-ad. It will be because I like the look of a car I’ve seen on Top Gear, or in a post on Feedly or Facebook. None of which is news inside an ad agency.
But it is likely that I’ll be visiting multiple showrooms to look at different models. I’ll have links to car discount sites already pre-bookmarked in my phone, so the salesperson will be tolerated only to arrange the vital test drive.
Which means that the visit had better be a great experience if the manufacturer is to cut through my list of models and focus my attention on the car it wants me to buy. And here, I think, the ad agency has a real and increasingly vital role to play. Their strategic nous and creative excellence needs to be brought to the showroom floor. The energy that is no longer being spent on blockbuster TV ads should be directed at using emotion and understanding in-store, directly wrapped around the product…
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