Ads Don’t Work, Except When They Do

A recent magazine ad made me laugh. The headline: “Ads don’t make believers. Experiences do.” Buying a print ad to convince others that ads don’t work is just plain funny. The ad, for Fort Worth events company, Encore Live, continues: “we create custom experiences that do what nothing else can.” Except create awareness for who they are and what they do, apparently.  It’s as if to say “don’t believe us because this is a lowly ad – and we just torched the shit out of its credibility as a marketing tactic”. I like print ads and believe reports of traditional advertising’s death are greatly exaggerated. Even digital giants like Google and Facebook spend millions on traditional ads yearly. Truth is, the magic is in the mix: experiences, PR, social media, and ads of all types have their rightful place in the marketing ecosystem. Claiming that “ads don’t make believers” seems naive since they have helped sell untold billions worth of goods and services. Can anyone dispute that Nike makes fanatical believers with its ads? In the end Encore Live resorted to an audacious approach to convince clients to carve out a bigger share of marketing budgets for events. Can you blame them? There is definitely room in the mix for what they do. In any case I can attest that Encore Live rocks the experiential world because I have worked with them. But it took an ad to let the rest of you know!