A very gratifying thing happened this week.
We've been in New York producing music for a new campaign (yes, once in a while they still let me near advertising) and someone said something that brightened my day.
As regular readers know, we have a few principles about advertising called "Performance-Based Advertising" (shameless self-promotion alert: more about it available free here.)
The foundation of PBA is a belief that turns most of contemporary advertising philosophy on its head: we believe that you don't get people to try your product by convincing them to love your brand, you get them to love your brand by convincing them to try your product.
As a result, we believe very strongly that the best advertising is focused on the product, is specific, and is not the kind of woolly, vague "branding" nonsense that is so prevalent these days. We believe advertising should be created to address the common sense needs of consumers, not the arcane musings of account planners.
One of the people who was working on the spots was a musician (who had just come off the road with one of the all-time great names in rock history -- sorry, no name-dropping.)
He was sitting in the control room as we were putting finishing touches on one of the tv spots. The spot is about as unambiguous an example of PBA principles as you can find -- product focused, benefit oriented, simple and clear. And it's in a category that is usually replete with fuzzy, irrelevant imagery.
As he sat there watching the spot, he turned to us and said, "You know what I love about this spot? I really understand what you're saying about this product, and I really understand why I should buy it."
I think that's about the highest compliment an ad can get.