Does a Good Product Need to be Sold?
The debate that has erupted this week over whether advertising can only be effective if the product itself is saleable does no justice to either. In the absence of empirical evidence, it cannot be said with any certainty that the subject of every campaign deemed successful both by the market and peers was of undoubted quality and was, thus, the prime factor in its triumph. Poor products have been “sold” well before. If anything, the often unexpected success of some products and campaigns — and failure of others — underlines the importance of the unpredictability of the one constant beside the product itself: the consumer! It is, therefore, quite timorous to put the onus of success on the product itself. Surely, the real challenge is for advertising professionals to be able to promote something regardless of its quality and saleability. Of course, they should do so without breaching the bounds of the law and decency and, most importantly, without abusing people’s credulity. And there’s always the consideration that if any product was saleable on its own, there would be no need for an intense visual campaign and high-decibel communication plan in the first place. Delivering the properly packaged item to all crucial sales points and assuring maximum visibility, there would be sufficient incentive for consumers to buy.