Larry the Ad Man's Blog

I hope you learn from my small business marketing and advertising tips.

"Advertising is to trade what Steam is to machinery" Thomas Cook.
It was an honor to be nominated for 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The risks of advertising. Taking chances can win big, or lose big.

I was recently interviewed by Bill Briggs on ( on the subject of companies "daring" consumers to buy their product. His examples were, as expected, US commercials, some of which were also played in Canada. I'll focus on some uniquely Canadian commercials that do the same. One such campaign, I use as an example is Pizza Pops. I can't find the original commercial that turned me off the product, but will show you some similar ads below. The original commercial aired in the early nineties and showed young teenagers throwing the Pizza Pop at the TV camera, exploding the contents of pizza sauce, peperoni etc. all over the camera lens.
While the campaign started my almost 20 years without using the product, the commercials continued, leading me to believe it worked with a certain market segment, most likely teenagers.
As you look at these commercials in the mind of a teenage boy, you might see the appeal, but most likely you will be turned off the product by them. It shows you how companies can limit their market by focusing on one segment of it. As I told Bill, it's risky, but apparently Pilsbury believes it's worth the risk to capture this small demographic. I would love to hear about commercials that have turned you off a product in the comments below. If you can provide links to examples, feel free. These can be interesting case studies on the power of advertising. Until next time, I'm Larry "The Ad Man".

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