“Too many ads that try not to go over the reader’s head end up beneath his notice.”
– Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame
This quote is from Leo Burnett, one of the great advertising minds of all time and founder of the global agency that still bears his name. He contributed to the United Airlines “Fly the Friendly Skies” and Allstate “Good Hands” campaigns as well as many others. Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. He is as quote worthy as Ben Franklin or Albert Einstein.
From my perspective as a partner in a small agency that happens to do a lot of advertising in the tourism sector, I found this quote particularly relevant. Agreeing with the quote requires believing two critical truths:
TRUTH – Advertising works. Period. It’s that simple. Abandoning advertising for complete investment in PR, blogging, SEO or anything else is risky behavior and potentially lethal to a brand. That’s not to say these tools don’t have value, but they can only go so far towards building your brand since you can’t control the message and where they appear.
TRUTH – Creativity gets results. I find this to be especially true in the travel and tourism world where inspiring and motivating people is the key to success. Great advertising grabs a reader’s attention and helps guide him or her through the sales funnel toward action. Lackluster ads, as Mr. Burnett points out, go completely unnoticed. Not only does that not help build brands, it actually damages brands by making them look dull.