The Incompetence of General Ad Agencies
On the Internet, a simple click is not enough. A click may bring eyeballs, but only an offer will get action.
General Advertising vs. Direct Marketing and Vin Gupta’s Victory
General advertising is the business of creating awareness; direct marketing is about changing behavior by generating response.
Of the 64 spots on the 2007 Super Bowl TV show, only one advertiser changed behavior: Vin Gupta of infoUSA, who used an offer to get a response.
The offer: “For 100 free sales leads, go to salesgenie.com.”
Among the comments by the uppity, elitist critics reported by Eleanor Mills on c/Net news:
“I kept waiting for the punchline … and it never came. It was like a cheesy SNL parody,” wrote one commentator on YouTube. “Was this a college course marketing class project? (no disrespect to the undergrads). ‘How to blow 2 million in 30 seconds.’ Inexcusably bad.”
Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield gave the ad two stars out of five, calling it “so monumentally brainless and amateurish it actually attracts attention—i.e., is this really a Super Bowl ad??? No problem. The ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ crowd won’t downgrade for insipidness.”
“There has got to be more about it than just people watching it because there is so much clutter during the game,” said Matt Creamer, editor at large at Advertising Age magazine who called the Salesgenie.com a “low-rent ad.”
Gupta’s $3 million investment in the Super Bowl salesgenie.com ad was ranked absolutely last by the 238 volunteers assembled by USA Today and given hand-held Ad Meters to rate the ads in real time as they ran.
Not reported: The salesgenie.com ad rated #1 in direct response, bringing 30,000 people to the infoUSA Web site, generating 2,100 phone calls and an additional 25,000 views on YouTube.
The Web traffic monitor, Hitwise, declared it to be “ the third highest market share rise among the Super Bowl advertisers, after King Pharmaceuticals and Budweiser.”