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Jonathan:

I remember the very entertaining campaign Nissan ran a while back on TV -- everyone loved the commercials, nobody bought the cars. We have moved so far away from the campaigns that really burnished brands and sold products!

Funny...the amazing Apple 1984 spot (I have been a lifelong Ridley Scott fan ever since) 'changed the game' by heralding the slow demise of a great business. Ads that don't communicate relevant, motivating information that leads to purchase are fun and entertaining, but ultimately a waste of time. No amount of conversation really matters, does it, unless there's a chronology that drives business-measurable behaviors. So your posts here make complete sense to me; the comparison for analysis shouldn't necessarily be 1984, but rather the other 364 days of the year in 2008...or 2007...or any year. Ads should sell something other than entertainment. I've mused a bit about this at DIM BULB if you'd like to check it out: http://dimbulb.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/02/and-then-the-ba.html

@Austin -- making an ad work means it is designed to sell. I would buy the Tide stain removal, so that to me was a win. The creative process needs to be at the service of the value props to the business in that case.

@Stephen -- profit margins, music to my ears. And good thought on call to action. I admit the Doritos ad appealed to me for entirely different reasons than buying the product.

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