Good brands are built on the backs of information, facts, history, and rational messaging.
Great brands are built on the backs of inspired people, shared emotional connections, changing history, and driving new cultures.
Good advertising and great advertising are defined by similar definitions.
Good advertising tells.
Great advertising shows.
Good advertising tries to convince through reason.
Great advertising appeals to the senses.
Good advertising says “We are smarter than you. We know what you need. Listen to us.”
Great advertising says “We get you. We are you. trust us.”
The following ads for two insurance companies are a perfect example of how wide the gap is between good advertising and great advertising.
GOOD TV AD: Allstate
GREAT TV Ad: Liberty Mutual
Most insurance companies are not thought of as caring, touchy feely organizations that are in touch with the human condition, so the ultimate test of the power of their advertising is whether these spots reflect an authentic image of the brands. But, let this be a lesson for law firms, accounting firms, management consulting firms, and every other business operating in an industry perceived to be boring, stale, disconnected, and unsympathetic.
There is a time and place for cerebral thinking and messaging, for your buffet of facts, statistics, awards, and rankings. But if every other firm is focused on coasting and being good, perhaps you have an opportunity to be great.