Show ‘em the brighter side.
Walking through Grand Central Terminal on Friday, I was blasted with Tropicana’s latest round of bright and cheery subway advertising. The campaign takes a quick, clear, and humorous approach to showing how Tropicana’s new mini bottles are really “The good part of New York mornings.” The crux of the joke, of course, is that most of the 8 million passers-by can relate to horrendous NYC morning commutes.
Snickers has also taken a liking to this strategy of positioning itself against a negative. The current “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ads explore the cranky and irritable behavior one can display between meals.
The key to the success of both of these campaigns is that they are based on a truism — something the majority of the audience will nod in agreement to whether or not it is a negative. Does the morning commute in NYC stink? Yes. Do people get grumpy when they get hungry? Yes! Both great truisms ready to be harnessed for the power of great advertising.
We recently cultivated an award-winning campaign using this approach. It was based on the fact that Clevelanders seem to always be fighting their way back from something. Is that negative? Maybe, maybe not. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it is a truism — something Clevelanders feel to their core — and therefore worthy of exploration when it comes to designing an ad campaign that will connect with them emotionally.
So don’t listen when folks sitting around a focus group table say, “I prefer ads that are more positive. The world is full of enough negativity.” In actuality, what the world has too much of is milk-toast advertising that doesn’t connect with its audience. So when you find that relevant truism, explore it. Cultivate it. See if you can grow it into something big.