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Advertising Errors      

A business-English activity

Tere Zubizarreta is founder and President of the largest independent full-service Hispanic advertising agency and her success is partly due to her taking advantage of the mistakes others made in this segment - the Hispanic consumer in the US.

Read and listen to this article in this interactive activity: Advertising Errors Activity.

 
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In her BusinessWeek article at Marketing with an Spanish Accent she points out two major errors. The most important one is the need to think like Hispanics and to talk to them on a Personal level. I believe this is true for any segment. Everyone is attracted by advertising that not only attacks our needs and desires but, does so in our language. - I mean by this that they talk to me in way that I understand and feel comfortable.

The second mistake she points out is the use of stereotypes. Now, no-one likes to be classified into a stereotype or do you? Well if you talk to a stereotype, nobody will listen to you or even worse, you'll probably get rejected.

I reckon that mistakes in advertising are quite common so I decided to look for an article that could point out a few more common errors:

1. The quest for instant gratification. These ads, targeted for immediate response, don't create a permanent image of your brand.

2. Excess reach. Repetition is essential to establish retention, so trying to reach a larger target than your budget allows will decrease effectivity.

3. Answering the wrong questions. Consumers are not interested in products, they are interested in satisfying their desires.

4. Unsustainable claims. You must prove what you claim. Otherwise, your ad will be ignored.

5. Creating Ads instead of campaigns. One ad can't tell the whole story. Each ad should make one single point. This increases its effectivity. Then, you should make as many ads as you have points to transmit.

6. Overestimating the importance of the qualitative targeting. Sometimes it's more about saying the right thing because saying the wrong thing to the right people is useless.

7. Great production without great copy. What's better? A clever, ingenious advert that leaves people with their mouths open trying to understand what the ad really means or a clear message explaining the reasons why you should buy the product in an informative but persuasive manner.

Here are just a few things you shouldn't do when advertising: Advertising Mistakes. (Link removed because it was broken.) I find the last one particularly interesting because there are many adverts on TV which I either don't understand or I spend all day singing their music, but I can never remember what they are advertising.



Vocabulary

Practice the vocabulary: Advertising Errors Vocabulary

founder - fundador
ad - advert - advertisment - anuncio
advertising agency - agencia de publicidad
take advantage - aprovechar
mistakes - errores
consumer - consumidor
point out - señalar
no-one - nobody - nadie
rejected - rechazado
I reckon - Yo opino
quite common - bastante común
quest - búsqueda
brand - marca
reach - alcance
target - objetivo
unsustainable claims - reclamos insostenibles
prove - probar (proporcionar evidencias no testear)
instead of - en vez de
campaign - campaña
qualitative targeting - alcanzar un público objetivo cualificado
useless - inútil
copy - texto (de un anuncio)
ingenious - ingenioso
persuasive - convincente
manner - forma o manera
spend all day - pasar todo el día



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William Christison
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