Life Is Simple
Most big companies hire public relation experts to research and design their advertising. The goals of the PR firms are to make their clients look good, retain loyalty to that brand, and increase sales.
The big companies pay millions of dollars to these ad firms and expect everything to be perfect. Sometimes, it’s not.
I pay attention to advertising that is aimed at farmers. Some might say I’ve too much time on my hands, but I like to analyze the print ads in newspapers and magazines to see if the message is being conveyed in an interesting and realistic way.
For instance, if an ad is trying to sell some new feed or medicine to make my livestock more healthy and productive, the pictures of the animals need to exemplify that. That rough-haired cow in the background at the lower left corner causes me to turn the page and forget about ever buying that product.
Recently, I looked over a beautiful, slick picture ad promoting a product to be sold to farmers. A strapping young man was preparing to throw a bale of hay from the top of the stack onto a wagon below. It was wintertime with a couple of inches of snow on the ground outside. The colors were beautiful and the message almost poetic, but…
I noticed a few problems.
The young man was obviously a male model. No offense to my fellow farmers, but there was only a half-dozen of us that ever looked like him – and that was 30 or 40 years ago. He had on new, leather gloves that were being worn for the first time, he wasn’t wearing a coat, and both his jeans and shirt were spotlessly clean.
The good-looking, young man was handling the bale with a hay hook in each hand. The bale was turned the wrong way for handling it with hooks and, from experience, had he tried to throw that bale to the waiting wagon below, either the hay hooks would have gone with the bale or the young man would have gone with it and ruined his chance at other ads for the next few weeks.
The inside of the barn contained neither cobwebs nor dust. There were no broken bales lying on the ground around the outside of the stack, and no hay residue anywhere to be seen. And, as far as the snow cover surrounding the barn – a closer look showed that the trees were fully leaved. It must have been one of those freak, May snowstorms.
It just might be beneficial for the Madison Avenue advertising firm to invest a few hundred bucks to have a real farmer look over their ad before it goes to print. Most of them could spot the problems pretty quickly and offer some advice to make it look more real.
In case they are interested in doing that, I just want them to know I’m available…for the consulting advice. I don’t do the male modeling anymore.