Upon returning to Boston’s Logan Airport several weeks ago, I observed a highway billboard on the airport’s outskirts, overlooking Route 1A: An advertisement for a new carton design for Tropicana orange juice.
The New York Times’ Stuart Elliott wrote last month about the $35 million juice campaign encompassing newspaper ads and future television commercials:
The campaign carries the typographically challenging theme “squeeze it’s a natural,” which is intended to evoke the way oranges are turned into Tropicana along with the warm way in which the company wants consumers to embrace the brand.
Despite my incredulous reaction to a multimillion price tag for a brand that most Americans are already familiar with, I congratulate the company for advertising.
If you are a business and are not advertising, wake up and smell the, err, oranges!
A special report released last month on Entrepreneur.com underscores the importance of advertising during rocky economic times in accordance with several economic research surveys.
Frequently cited, a McGraw-Hill Research survey of 600 companies between 1980 and 1985 determined that firms with level-funded or increased advertising expenses during the 1981-82 recession averaged a 256 percent growth for the subsequent three years!
A separate survey in 2004 by the American Association of Advertising Agencies of 2,700 firms found increased advertising in a recession has more benefits than increased spending during an economic expansion.
Of note, MarketSense studied the 1989-1991 recession and concluded:
“Jif peanut butter raised ad support and sales went up 57 percent; Kraft salad dressings increased advertising and saw a rise of 70 percent. In the beer category, overall spending was down 1 percent while Bud Light and Coors Light, each spending ahead of the category, saw sales increases of 15 percent and 16 percent respectively. Pizza Hut sales rose 61 percent and Taco Bell’s 40 percent, thanks to strong advertising support…”
Recession advertising is a must. I can’t say billboard advertising is dead–for clearly, Tropicana’s management and their PR strategy firm determined a need.
During the ride from the airport back home, I commented to my family that the billboard was a waste of money. My mother liked it and said the ad strengthened brand recognition and provided a visual memory the next time she would enter a supermarket. I suppose.
Fact is, companies need to be where their customers are. Everyone won’t like a billboard and everyone won’t like an email campaign. There are no easy answers, writes Shannon Paul.
I agree with Shannon that companies should stop doing marketing and start being social.
Tropicana recognizes this fact. By positioning a billboard by an airport, along a busy thoroughfare where families are routinely in a car together, the company reminds mothers (like mine) to notice the new carton design at the supermarket.
Most importantly, Tropicana is advertising.
So should you in this economy. What are you waiting for?