Sticking Points

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Of 36 campaigns analyzed in the book, all but one could have done better with its media allocation to improve ROI. One-third of the 36 misidentified the primary consumer motivation for buying the product or service on the strategic front end.

McDonald's found in a post-campaign audit of advertising for its flatbread sandwich that it could have generated awareness among an additional 6 million consumers without spending any more money. How? By focusing its media plan-essentially some TV and online advertising-on the four hours around lunchtime.

When Colgate in the U.K. cut a 30-second ad for Colgate Oxygen in the U.K. down to 20 to save money and used the other 10 seconds to advertise a Palmolive deodorant, impact on consumer purchase intent for the toothpaste plummeted. Reason: The messages conflicted to the point of rendering the ad meaningless to the consumer.

When Target runs ads for housewares right after a flight for apparel, consumer association of Target with apparel vanishes almost immediately, and consumers instead associate the brand only with housewares. ROI improves if Target puts several weeks between the campaigns.
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