During a recent visit to an antique store, I stumbled across boxes of old ads preserved from Life Magazine and was immediately captivated. Call me nostalgic, but to me these ads represent the road before, a lesson in history if you will. It is probably unfair for me to say, but it seems like they are also a product of a simpler time for advertising – one with typing pools, three martini lunches and where advertisers could credibly make seemingly outlandish claims, at least to our modern-day sensibilities.
The ad hanging in my kitchen is from 1951 for Kelvinator stoves. It shows an illustration of a groom removing a blindfold from his brides’ eyes in front of his mother to reveal a new stove. The headline reads, “Yours for happier years ahead . . . New Kelvinator Electric Range gives faster “Heat-up” . . . finer cooking!” Better yet, the subhead starts, “Take it from Mother, a wonder-working electric range like this can play a big part in a happy marriage.”
The subsequent proof points provided all relate to how this stove makes cooking more efficient, but no word on how efficient cooking directly relates to a happy marriage.
Nowadays, we have to work a little bit harder. We have to understand who our customers are, how they want to be communicated with, what specific information they are looking for and when they are looking for it during the purchase process. In addition, companies have to consistently make good on their claims each time a customer or prospect comes in contact with the brand (now there are a slew of blogs that provide a forum for frustrated customers). This is no small feat, requiring an investment in training for employees so they will understand the importance of the brand and how it affects his/her role within the organization.
In case you are wondering, this amazing stove will also allow you to “bake six pies, eight loaves of bread or all four layers of a cake at one time, in one oven, without shifting pans.” All four layers of a cake? My, times have changed.