Viewpoints

A Food Advertising Resolution for the New Year

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No one is arguing that the way we communicate with shoppers is changing at lightning speed. TV, radio and print have been replaced by social and mobile … which is now giving way to LoSoPhoMo. Many supermarket and brand marketers are lamenting that just keeping up with the new media is giving them one royal headache.

So, in this era of digital everything, perhaps it is time to go back to the basics and make a New Year’s Advertising Resolution: To not forget its about the PEOPLE.  
 
Advertising, marketing and public relations, when done correctly, excites, informs, empowers and sells our customers. I question if sometimes many of us forget just what the job of advertising is — that too often we use it as a tool to get more hype, more “friends,” more “followers” or more “likes.” And we forget about the real objectives.
 
As our first step in promoting foods and beverages let’s actually consume the product! Let’s prepare it, plate it, taste it and eat it. Let’s celebrate what the food is meant to do whether it’s about indulgence (making us smile) or health (making us feel better) or fuel for our bodies. Then we can start to try to translate those emotional experiences to shoppers, to empower them to buy the product.
 
These days it appears that we are confusing tools (technologies) with messages (emotions). Now more than ever, shoppers want to know more about the foods they buy — from how they are grown or produced, the impact on the environment, ingredients, health and taste attributes and just about everything they can find out about the company that produces the product. The search engines and mobile apps all handle these requests quite nicely. Advertising has to make them connect emotionally to the product. 
 
Perhaps it’s time for all of us to take a reread of David Ogilvy’s book Ogilvy on Advertising. One of the world’s most famous and successful admen often repeated his mantra to his clients and colleagues: “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”
 
Here’s to a happy, healthy, smart and terrific Food 2012!
 
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Phil Lempert is contributing editor of Supermarket News and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com.
 

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David Orgel

David Orgel is executive director, content & user engagement, of Supermarket News (SN) and its website, SupermarketNews.com. Orgel delivers his opinions on industry trends through a bi-weekly...

Carol Angrisani

Carol Angrisani is an associate editor at Supermarket News. Along with covering the packaged goods beat, she also manages SN’s annual private-label and ethnic marketing supplements. Carol...
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