I came across this great archive of vintage advertising the other day. I was struck by how much times change, and how advertising ebbs and flows. You can spend hours scanning through these very earnest attempts to sell product to the masses. Hidden in this lot, there are some real gems, but the great majority, today, cause raised eyebrows, giggles and disbelief that advertisers ever thought these kind of appeals would work to persuade anyone to buy anything.
Looking at these old-fashioned ads makes you wonder about the new-fashioned advertising we are exposed to today, and how much of it is going to be giggle-worthy in the future – especially when it to comes to real estate.
So many real estate ads are reliant on say-nothing headlines about luxury and escapes from the everyday. And I am particularly tired of the hype-and-jive stuff that still seems to make up about 99.9 per cent of the advertising shouting at consumers today.
But where’s the line in the sand?
Advertising still needs to attract attention, and let buyers know how to take action. It can’t be boring. It still needs to get noticed, or it’s a waste of time and money. Too flashy and kooky makes for laughable ad campaigns. Too boring and methodical makes for ineffective ad campaigns.
In this digital era, I think the line in the sand is always moving. I’m not sure where it is going to ‘land’. There is far more choice, so consumers can find information about your real estate development company, and projects, anywhere and everywhere all of the time. Frankly, my money is on a move towards more straightforward, factual appeals. Moreover, if we build good products and services in the first place, and simply tell people about them, people will buy.
The quality of the product or service itself is the best ad campaign possible.
The moral of this story? Be transparent. Sell good things, and tell people good stories about those things, in a way that respects their intelligence, and they will buy your product.