Dear CMO: It’s Not The Spot, It’s The Creative


What’s the worst thing about broadcast media? Whether it is a casual conversation with the barista or a focus group of precious millennials of high desire to a marketer and brand manager, the word “commercials” is likely to rate among the top five answers.

For years, radio stations have been pounding the “less talk, fewer commercials” mantra as a lure for longer listening. Television networks are moving forward with shorter spots, at fewer intervals, across live sports and scripted shows.

But, is the problem the :30 or the :60?

That’s a question Madison Avenue and the legions of research nerds haven’t truly asked. Why? The answer may be devastating to the ad agencies seeking to win a big account: It’s the creative, stupid, and the creative today is so bad it’s likely a chief reason American consumers detest commercials. 

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