Do you remember any Absolut Vodka ads in glossy magazines? Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s very likely you do because the Absolut ad campaign consisted of variations on the same theme from 1981 until the summer of 2013 when they changed their methods to include more than just a beautiful picture.
The Absolut ad is used as the opening example in Copyblogger Demian Farnworth’s article titled How Often Should You Change An Advertising Message? (Way Less Than You Think).
The reason that ad campaign was successful for decades is because it was variations on the same theme…enough to be interesting but always the same point. This created a penetrating message that launched Absolut from selling about 20,000 cases annually in the US to over 3 million cases last year. That’s almost a fifteen thousand percent increase during one campaign. It worked because people got the point and responded by joining in the Absolut mystique.
I wonder how many new ad managers over the years came in and argued for changing tactics since they had fresh ideas and it was time for a change? It takes patience to keep tweaking the same message long enough for it to penetrate into the minds and shopping habits of a population. But, really, as long as it’s working, why lose all the momentum?
Repeat Your Marketing Message Until They Get It
It takes patience to slowly grow a brand, and we are used to quick analysis and changing tactics because we have so many tools for analysis available. It takes an expert to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. That’s why online marketing strategy is so important to your business.
I know, the Absolut campaign did finally move from the glossy page so many cut out of a magazine and hung up on the wall. But it retained the dynamic collaboration with artists and has moved into the media its market enjoys. It will be interesting to see what happens to their sales.
I think it’s important to evaluate what point we are making in our message, and then to stick to that point so it can be easily remembered in the sea of marketing we swim in every day. Your customer needs to be told what your point is repeatedly, and it takes time for it to sink in.