Book Review: The Advertising Effect, How to Change Behaviour
Adam Ferrier, with Jennifer Fleming
New Zealand and Australian case studies are always a lot more compelling for me than US or UK examples, and Adam’s personal insight into many of the local projects he profiles in this book ensure an insightful read.
Adam is a registered psychologist with experience in both criminal and consumer psychology, who switched to applying his understanding of the consumer to the advertising world early in this career. He founded, and later sold, Naked Communications, which has been described as one of Australia’s most influential agencies and has won a string of ad-land awards. So, he has plenty of experience to draw on.
From the creation of a campaign for an art-themed Australian hotel inviting guests to steal a painting, to a radio station motivating listeners to ask Richard Branson for money to keep the station running, there is plenty of inspiration to be found between these pages. Understanding the rationale behind the campaigns and why they worked so well, makes this a read for both communications practioners and consumers hoping to avoid being unduly influenced by clever marketers.
The primary take-home message is that action changes attitude faster than attitude changes action. So, while many advertising agencies are still producing emotionally charged ads designed to influence our attitudes in the hope that it will change our behaviour, Adam maintains that using action spurs to change people’s actions is far more effective – and attitudes catch up quickly.
Great news for those of us lacking the massive advertising budgets of the big brands.
But also food for thought when it comes to getting your kids to clean up their room, and helping out on the school PTA.
As a consumer, it’ll have you hesitating over clicking on that facebook like button – as this little action signifies a commitment towards this product/company that you won’t even realise you’re making. And while its a 2014 book, rest assured, there’s more depth to this read than a recap of social media marketing trends.
I really like this quote from one the ‘insiders’ in this book – Bob Garfield – who believes that ,“In a post-mass, digitally connected media environment, the wisest, most sustainable path is to be so admired and trusted that being associated with you allows the individual to feel better about himself or herself…No green washing, please, or ‘charitable’ efforts that are really sales promotions in disguise; these are dishonest and manipulative and transparently untransparent. The key for brands in a socially connected world is simply to be respected; to offer quality goods and services without being a total dick to anyone along the way.”
Well worth a read…