I’ll let legendary ad man Hal Riney say it for me.

This is Hal, talking about the launch campaign for Saturn in the documentary Art & Copy, while also revealing some eternal truths about advertising [emphasis added]:

“But our job isn’t to do television commercials. Our job is to solve problems.

And it may be that television is the answer, but it probably isn’t the only answer, and there are other ways to think about things… And… and our answer was to find ways to make people like this company.

And that took the form of letters that we wrote to consumers and a thousand other things besides television commercials.

So we did everything…

… and we, and we got involved in a lot of things like… like color. What kind of color — what do we call the colors, you know, Santa Fe Sunset, or what? Well, how about Red!

All you had to do was to look at everything Detroit did and just do the opposite. And, and that’s virtually what we did. We guided the company through all of that and it was extraordinarily rewarding to find out that this kind of honesty and straight-forwardness and integrity that we tried to maintain, actually worked.”

Did you catch all that?

  • Mass Media ads aren’t always the answer.
  • Even when they’re part of the answer, they’re only a part
  • Ensuring the customer experience matches the ads is crucial

And most importantly: an advertising consultant’s job isn’t to create ads, but to solve problems. 

Want to see a perfect example of this in action?

Check it out:

Glade’s advertising people didn’t default to mass media or digital ads.

But they did solve the problem. Big time.

Free samples are a wonderful technique if done right. And this wasn’t just done right, it was done brilliantly. Bravo.

So what about your ad agency or consultant? 

Are they just interested in creating ads?

Or are they focused on solving your problems and growing your company? 

If it’s not the later, and you’d like it to be, I’d be happy to help.