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Spend Advertising Dollars for Memorability


advertisements63In mid-December Advertising Age published a list of the top 25 Biggest Brands. The list is comprised of the “most-advertised brands by 2011 U.S. measured-media ad spending.”

It is revealing to say the least.

AT&T, the biggest spender of the Biggest Brands shelled out $1.84 billion in advertising. That’s more than the GDP of   Belize – a favorite fishing destination for many Americans. And I’m not sure I can recall a single ad, spot or slogan. Interestingly, that $1.84 billion is down nearly 12% from the prior year.

Predictably communications brands (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint) hold 3 of the top 10 slots. The big three auto badges (of today’s auto world) Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota grabbed another 3. The four remaining top 1o aren’t surprising – with one exception. They are McDonald’s, Geico, Macy’s and Target.


Wait a second! Macy’s still relies heavily on newspaper inserts loaded with discounted prices (on top of over inflated mark ups), coupons and give aways…right? That’s not considered advertising is it? Apparently so.

But it’s not how much a brand spends that counts. What is accomplished as a result of that spend is what counts. In a day where consumers are inundated with marketing impressions – advertising that is memorable is imperative.

Lesser spenders that have more memorability include Apple (which spent only slightly more than T-Mobile (I guess the chick riding around on the motorcycle in the pink leathers isn’t cutting it), Capital One ( whose $413M pales to Chase Bank’s $549M – but the baby and Fallon win out in terms of memorability) and Budweiser.

Budweiser is known as the “King of Beers” but also could be easily coined the king of memorability. Think back to campaigns such as “Wassssssup?”, the singing frogs and the Clydesdale’s playing a game a football. More recently, “Here We Go” and “It’s Only Weird if it Doesn’t Work” have penetrated our daily conversation.

All that and the bottom slot of the top 25 for a ‘mere’ $389M. And how’s that paid off for the brand? The Budweiser brand accounts for one out of every three beers served in the United States. The St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch owns 50.9% of the beer market share.

That’s the kind of ROI that marketers and CFO’s can agree on.

Striving for memorability is easier said then done. It begins, however, by understanding your customer. Who they are, what they like (and don’t like), how they’re motivated and what they’ll spend. Focus on the customer and your advertising will be memorable. Apparently Budweiser has their customer dialed in.


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