Friday, September 22, 2006

Advertising: Attention or Meaning?

This campaign for Imedeen, a skin care brand, has caused quite a stir recently in Singapore. It shows Zoe Tay, a local celebrity, lying languidly as she says: "My secret to beautiful skin? I swallow".
Most of the comments focused on the appropriateness of the campaign and its sexual innuendos. I won't dwell on that. This whole polemic though reminds me that sometimes advertisers forget that ads are not supposed only to grab attention. Yes, they need to cut through the clutter and they need to be noticed, but they need to create meanings as well, they need to create a set of symbolic qualities that people will associate with the brand, and I think this campaign fails at the latter. I'd be mostly interested to know the impact of this campaign on the brand's sale (stripped off any other promotional activities, of course) as well as the impact on the brand's value.
Rule no. 1: Never compromise "meaning" for "attention".
Rule no. 2: Never compromise "attention" for "meaning".
It's the advertising conundrum.

Anonymous. 2006. What sexual innuendos? I do swallow. The Electric New Paper. 27/08/2006

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couple that with a farmhen who doesn't know much English, the result is just fantastic! Amass of stupidity, ignorance and idiocy all embroiled in one.