DON'T FOLLOW AD TEMPLATES

Published on .

It would do your readers a disservice to have them conclude from ARS historical data that product demonstrations ipso facto boost the effectiveness of advertising. The results shown in your Feb. 14 issue were exquisitely contradictory, as they should be, reflecting the complexities of the marketplace.

Creating advertising templates from 5,000 ARS tests is something we would discourage-and not because it might interfere with doing wild and crazy ads for Cannes. Ending up with mediocre advertising is what concerns us. While templates may provide a starting place, they tend to discourage innovative thinking and mask other solutions which might, in fact, be better. This problem is only compounded when challenging the template carries political risk.

For large advertisers, mediocre advertising can often be compensated for simply by the amount of media weight behind it. We have only to look at the auto industry, which turns out some of the most unfocused, unmemorable advertising every year. But, oh, what $5 billion can do.

Our clients rarely have this luxury. They compete in the most hotly contested markets in the world-including airlines, computers and, yes, automobiles-but with far fewer resources. We can't approach their marketing issues as though the answers lie in historical copy test results, even if these tests were more valid than we suspect they are.

Michael Murphy

Associate director of

account planning

Goldberg Moser O'Neill

San Francisco

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