The year was 1984. The A-Team just finished saving yet another day, and Webster’s chubby cheeks were up next. This was primetime TV for my 10-year-old eyeballs. Time for a word from our sponsor…
“Hey you got peanut butter in my chocolate.”
“You got chocolate in my peanut butter.”
Ah, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup campaign: a classic advertising treat of the ’80s. This was more than a commercial; it was permission to mix things up. It was affirmation to humankind that indeed opposites can attract, that a Democrat can marry a Republican.
The 1980s also saw the explosion of direct response TV. Gadgets and gizmos that will change lives but only for a limited time. And at just $19.95, why wouldn’t you call? Especially if we throw in a potato peeler. But wait, there’s more!
Phones rang. Product shipped. Tummies tightened. And traditional brand advertising threw up in their mouths over what they saw as “crappy TV ads.” Never would they disgrace the sanctity of their virgin brand with a direct-to-consumer message asking people for their money. That would be selling. Shame on you.
Flash forward to 2015: No more Webster. No more ad budgets. Welcome to the age of accountability. CMOs are tasked with spending a dollar and making two. They love this thing called the Internet, because they can track everything. They can talk directly to their consumers. Consumers can order on the spot. Hmm…sounds like direct response.
So what if brand TV advertising and direct response could come together? What would that taste like?
Actually, it’s already happening.
Marketing Architects was rooted 17 years ago in direct response, but we’ve seen an influx of business that would have been previously labeled traditional brand advertising. Major brands are looking at DRTV through an entirely new lens. And we’re being challenged to be good brand stewards. Together we’re building strategies to provide accountability to advertisers’ budgets, while elevating their brands at the same time.Brand advertising and direct response: two great things coming together. I guess we can all learn a lot from a peanut butter cup.