What’s Wrong With This Ad?
Winning the PR Battle, but Losing the War
This beautiful, unassuming little ad provided the Johnson family the opportunity to alert millions of consumers about their fine products and caring attitude.
Not mentioned: This privately-held company—with its 123-year-old policy of no employee layoffs—is No. 83 in Fortune's top 100 companies to work for in 2010.
More to the point, Fisk Johnson blew an opportunity to create a stronger bond with his existing customers and bring prospects into the SC Johnson extended family of consumers that rely on his products.
The reader is a momentary captive of Fisk Johnson's charms. At the end the ad's third paragraph is the following line:
We invite you to SCJohnson.com to learn more.
Remembering the ad, taking the trouble to boot up the computer, going on line and then getting to the SCJohnson.com website takes work—and for what? To "learn more."
This "nothing offer" would get minimal—if any—response. As a result, SC Johnson has blown big, big bucks on an ad with no way of knowing if anybody read it. Was it effective? Or was this the equivalent of Fisk Johnson peeing in blue serge (making him feel warm all over and nobody noticing)?
It would appear that no one at SC Johnson gave any thought to the back end—which is everything in advertising. An advertiser wastes money if an ad runs with no mechanism in place to get an order, donation or inquiry.
Make an Offer!
Johnson's ad got attention, and maybe generated some interest. The next step is creating desire. The obvious way would be to make an offer. Here’s a possible fifth paragraph by Fisk Johnson:
To say "thank you" for taking the time to read this message and learn about my family company, I invite you to visit www.scjohnson.com/PARADE and receive a personal gift from me—$25.71 in discount coupons for any or all of my 19 household products that can be redeemed at your favorite store. Not connected to the Internet? Call 1-800-JOHNSON and a representative will take down the information and mail you your coupons.