Perception and truth in advertising

By Michael Mark, CEO/Creative Director @ NYCA

Nursing scores high on the Gallup “respected industries” poll. Banks have plummeted. I can see that. But I get crazy when I see ad agencies ranked so low. The good news is we moved up 4%.

Advertising works in two arenas: perception and truth. One is ephemeral, one remains. One is a thought form, and like any form built from concrete or notion, it will mutate and eventually fade. Making room for more! One can be seen as bad or good. The other is.

Perception example: Fox kills rabbit. Bad for the rabbit’s babies who will not get food and will die. Good for the fox’s babies who will be able to eat. The truth is that the fox killed the rabbit.

When we create images, plans, events, or stimulation with intentions to grow! (as we call it at NYCA) businesses, we work with perceptions to tell the truth. The target audience will have an overall belief: we use that as a starting point, a connective moment, and we create from there to change or enhance behavior.

But we must always be in touch with truth as well.

Why is truth important in advertising? Isn’t it just about selling stuff – say anything you want long as the shopping cart fills? Well, for one, we need to sell again and there has to be a relationship of trust built. Research says you can’t fool more than 42.3% of the populace twice unless it deals with authentic Elvis memorabilia. The real reason is we are spending our days and night doing this, investing ourselves in it, so it must be honored. We can’t fool ourselves every day. We must believe we are doing something of worth. For us, it’s creating growth in the marketplace for our clients.

Perception: People in advertising are only interested in doing something they and their uber-stylish peers think is cool. Bad for the client who wants to sell stuff and is paying for the full intention but getting the diluted attention of the agency. Good for those who do cool stuff and get accolades from their peers. The truth is the business grew or it didn’t. Data doesn’t lie.

That’s why we say nothing matters but grow!

Even moving up the Gallup Poll.

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