Advertising in the social media age: Why it’s still worth it to lean on the professionals

Posted On January 31, 2019

What makes good advertising? And in an age of social media, easily available metrics and intricate video editing tools, why can’t we just do it ourselves?

Our guests in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” Jennifer Dira and RT Herwig of the Mobile-based advertising firm Lewis Communications tell us that while technology may make the idea of DIY advertising tempting, that old business adage still applies – you get what you pay for.

“Everybody thinks they can do everything now,” Herwig says. “It really comes down to being able to craft stories.”

Because stories are still what draw people, says Herwig. That’s why, even in this age of metrics and big data, creativity and art still matter in advertising.

“People are still people, and they still look at creative, intuitive things built by human beings,” he says. “There’s still a human presence needed to create that work.”

What’s more, the expertise of a firm like Lewis – and the research that comes with it – often brings clients to places they weren’t expecting to go. They come in with an idea of what they want, but leave with the knowledge that they really needed something different all along.

Herwig recalls a healthcare client who was looking for a sponsorship ad for a road race at an army base and ended up with a mural that allowed the competitors to pass through four different eras of the military. Dira recalls a campaign for a bacon company that played off a PETA slogan to create the biggest month of sales the company had ever enjoyed.

That bacon campaign was designed in about 24 hours, following quickly on the heels of the PETA slogan, and Herwig and Dira say that kind of real-time speed is becoming more the norm than the exception.

“People get bored easily now. There’s no attention span anymore. You don’t really have weeks, months to put together an ad campaign,” Herwig says. “Sometimes … you find something that’s happening within pop culture and then you find a way to sort of bring your client into it and then it gets people talking about it.”

Herwig and Dira share why trust is essential to creating on a real-time pace, why it’s still an imperfect science to figure out which ads work, why simply creating attention for a brand isn’t enough, and why, despite that, the rewards of a brand like Nike featuring a polarizing figure like Colin Kaepernick can still outweigh the risk.

Join us for an insightful discussion on creativity and advertising, and the value of leaning on the professionals.

Categories: Blog, Podcast, What's Working with Cam Marston