A marketing man’s thoughts on ads and information

Following on from last week’s blog I wanted to note a few other great features of Matthew Willcox’s The Business of Choice.

On a theoretical side he discusses the problem of too much information. I found his take appealing. He notes that scholars have long worried about the potential of information overload. In the digital age we have more and more information available so any overload problem can only get worse. He doesn’t seem that worried. He notes that despite ever increasing information being shuffled towards us “….humans seem to have endured this assault of information pretty well” (Willcox, 2015, page 100).

Why does he think we are doing okay? “I think the answer why humans are okay with an abundance of information may lie in the truth that there has always been too much information — and we have always filtered most of it out” (Willcox, 2015, page 100). This seems reasonable to me. The world has always had much more information than any person could possibly cope with if they didn’t have a great ability to ignore most of what is going on. Being oblivious may be a bit of a human superpower.

On a separate note I was interested in Willcox’s take on advertising campaigns. He loves the most interesting man advert especially the line that the man is so interesting that, “His mother has a tattoo that reads son”.

He is also impressed by Stella Artois’ line in Europe, “Reassuringly Expensive”. An excellent way to make people happy to pay a little more.

My favourite was the Citroen 2CV campaign that jokingly plays on our inattention by stating something that seems impressive, but only if you don’t think about it. Apparently “..travelling at its top speed of 71.5 mph the 2CV could easily overtake a Ferrari Mondial travelling at 65 mph”(Willcox, 2015, page 132). It also was said to have “.. the same number of wheels (four) as the Rolls Royce Silver Spirit that cost 20 times more” (Willcox, 2015, page 132).

We can learn a lot from books written by managers. Sometimes the lessons are theoretical and others times just fun.

Read: Matthew Willcox (2015) The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts, Pearson.