Advertisements: The Good, the Bad and the Measurable

What makes an ad a “good one?”  Some might argue it’s all about the creativity while others insist it’s whether you remember it hours or even days later. Still more may say it’s whether or not it made them laugh. Here at Johnson Direct, we believe a good ad is one that makes a consumer do what you want them to do, whether it is to visit a web site, become a member or to make a purchase.

There are so many advertising outlets today: television, radio, social media, mail, outdoor, email and even bathroom stalls. This tends to make it harder to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

Have you seen cars “wrapped” with a company’s logo?  Has that influenced your decision to purchase the product or service? Here in Milwaukee, some of our public transit buses are decked out in advertising wraps for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. After looking at the photo below, has it made you say “PBR Me. ASAP?” Though I’m a Corona Light drinker myself, my point is, do you think this is a good use of Pabst’s marketing budget? I would argue, how would they even know whether it’s effective?

PBR bus wrap advertisement
PBR's bus wrap advertising

It’s true that the Pabst brand is hot (did you know it’s also the largest American brewer now?) and it seems to have that celebrity cachet. But, it’s also true that beer sales are slipping as more and more people are drinking wine and distilled spirits like bourbon (ask my husband about that!).

So the real question is, how could PBR better use its advertising marketing spend to track, measure and test its efforts?

What would you suggest?

Johnson Direct’s tagline is Marketing that’s Measurable. We strive to be accountable to our clients and to be able to offer data that supports our strategies and tactics before and after each campaign we implement.

Perhaps PBR could spend more money on a PBR club where loyal drinkers could be rewarded for promoting and introducing PBR to lesser-informed beer drinkers. Or, perhaps, PBR could offer exclusive merchandise to their database of loyal consumers. They could also hold contests for the drinking establishments who serve up the most PBR by volume or in the most innovative, new ways.

Here’s an example: have you ever heard of a “black and tan” drink? It’s half Guinness Stout and half Bass Pale Ale. Now, let’s make it a little more local (for me, anyway!). Do you know what a Milwaukee black and tan is? It’s half PBR and half Schlitz beer. See how much fun this could be? A competition – with an incentive for the winners – to come up with the most creative drink combination featuring PBR could be a great way to get more attention for the brand and garner more interest in prospective, but not current, PBR drinkers.

What are some of your ideas to cultivate excitement in a brand? And what do you think are the most measurable, and therefore most effective, ways of advertising? We’d love to hear your thoughts!