Marketing Fundamentals are.. fundamental

by Jim November 26, 2018

A lifetime ago, long before I embarked on a career in the Internet era, I used to sell newspaper advertising. While continuing with my office clean out I discovered an old ad that I wrote, which incidentally won an award. Breaking down the ad today reminds me that the basics of advertising haven’t changed, only the medium.

What I learned

  • The aim of advertising hasn’t changed
  • Advert structure is fundamentally the same
  • What is the purpose of your ad?
  • Only the medium and speed of delivery has changed


Hey, welcome back Rankers. A big weekend for retailers, Black Friday. Today we’ve got Cyber Monday continuing. We had a bunch of retailers doing a bunch of things and it reminded me, because we’re moving offices as I told you last week and I’m still doing a bit of the office move, I found this old ad that I wrote in 1991 and incidentally I won an award for that ad, so I’m quite proud of it, and I used to sell newspaper advertising before I got involved with the Internet and then after the newspaper advertising, I saw the Internet coming along and I got involved with the Internet. But this ad I won an award for and basically it packed them in. It was a new restaurant opening, we did this full page ad and on the back of, there you are, we have, on the back page of this particular ad is the sporting section which was called “Religion” and that’s what AFL players used to wear in 1991.

A Change of Medium
Now I’m still doing the same thing. I’m still sending people to big outlets or big events or shops because we did it again on the weekend with Black Friday. So in 1991, I was writing ads to get people, pack them into the restaurant and it worked, worked really well and this weekend we did the same thing. So nothing much has changed. Like the message hasn’t changed at all, like to pack out that restaurant in 1991, we had to get people’s attention. We had to have a call to action. All of these things haven’t changed, right? The thing that’s changed is the medium and essentially the technology and how we deliver it. Like to put that ad together in 1991, had to go out with the photographer to the restaurant, get some photos done, bring the photos back. Well, I have to write up all the copy with a pen and paper because we didn’t have computers. Only the accountant had a computer. He was very special.

Then you would get it back from the typesetters, they’d typeset it all up and you have to mark it up and make your corrections. Then it would come back to you on a thing called a bromide and they used to go tick, tick, tick. Yes. Take it out to their client. Sometimes if you were lucky enough, you’d be able to fax it if your client had a fax machine, but usually, you’d have to drive it out there, right? So drive it out there, get it approved, and bring it back. Of course, all that stuff is a lot quicker now, right? We can approve an ad in seconds. We can get a new copy up in seconds. And that’s, I guess, the powerful thing about the medium, its ability to adapt. Your ability to understand the data, to actually go and have a look at this data like we’re looking here.

Online Can Drive Physical Sales
So this particular client, we did a pack them in to their sale like we did for the other client a couple of weekends ago. Online, they were nearly 50% up on the same weekend last year. So really good online but I went down to the sale on the weekend and I had to talk to a few people and basically they were saying this is the best day they’ve ever had for sales and we got the people there through online advertising. So we got people there to an offline event from digital, right? So, it works, right? And it’s almost come full circle where we’re getting people back into stores as opposed to getting them to shop online in some instances.

And there are so many opportunities out there now with these platforms and you’ve just got to work out what’s right for your business. We used to be the publisher when I was selling advertising. Now we’re not the publisher, now we’re just looking for the best publishing outlet for our clients. And you have to work out what that is for you, where your buyer personas are, and what’s going to help you grow your brand. Hopefully, that’s helpful. We’ll see you next week. Thanks very much, everyone. Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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