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February 17, 2010


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Nintendo Oui

Um. What does Mark MacAdam think of these questions:

-- Do people really know whether or not they trust ads? And even if they do, can they tell *how much*? Seems like a lot of this stuff relies on unconscious processes anyways...

-- Clearly, some industries (banking, automating, etc.) have been in question recently. But does that influence whether or not TV viewers trust their ads? Doesn't that influence what types of commercials they air, hence the customers' perception of their ads?

-- Is the ultimate goal of an ad to be *trusted*? This might work for a detergent or a sleeping pill, but what about all commercials that communicate a state of mind, a spirit, an attitude rather than (a) statement you can trust or not? Can you trust a Ray Ban commercial?

-- As for ads that can be trusted, is trust always the bottom line? Well… it's not, because the bottom line is a behavioral change from 'consumers do not buy the service/product' to 'consumers buy the service/product' (and other goals, like customer X is tuned into a longstanding customer, for example.) Can't consumers buy a product even though they don't completely trust the ad in some instances? To prove the brand wrong? Or because even though they don't believe that night cream N is going to make them look younger, they want it so bad that they try it anyway?

Mark MacAdam

In my opinion, the average consumer is fairly skeptical of the media and he or she undergoes a conscious process of evaluating an ad's claim. For example, if an ad touts the benefits of Commodity X and is sponsored by Commodity X Trade Association, the average consumer might question the messaging. As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

As for troubled industries, I think, recognizing I'm in the marketing/advertising business, it's rather apparent to consumers what the objectives of most ads are -- whether it's the crisis management ads that convey a problem is being tackled or the feel good, optimistic ads highlighting how great the future will be.

As for trust, I feel this is something a brand earns and is usually not conveyed through a single ad. Gaining trust or establishing a reputation is something built through multiple modes and not strictly created through advertising.

The building of trust through a multi-facetted approach is what builds brand loyalty. Again, not a single ad is going to have a dramatic effect on building brand loyalty and creating repeat customers, but perhaps a great, trusted ad wins over a consumer once and the product’s attributes, the company's overall trust, and good overall branding creates a loyal, frequent, and happy consumer.

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