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With the Super Bowl ads breathing down our necks, it’s time to admit that traditional advertising doesn’t sell shit.

Times have changed. No longer is the :30 second TV spot, or the full page print ad a guarantee of anything like a bump in sales. (If it ever was.) That is, of course, unless you’ve got a coupon.

No, advertising isn’t advertising any more.

When advertising exists as an entertainment vehicle, it’s no longer about sales. It’s about branding.

Brands hope you remember their clever ads. Just remember. Not even do anything specific. Maybe then you’ll decide one day to use that brand because you remember that funny commercial.

But that funny commercial alone isn’t reason enough for anyone to do anything. Its purpose is branding. Only.

Don’t get me wrong, as a copywriter I love getting people to think about things just slightly differently. Clever is my middle name. I love a great ad. But driving people to do a thing isn’t the point anymore.

The age of calculating ROI from traditional advertising is dead. If it ever existed at all.

Now there are other ways to do that. Including sustainable marketing. Which I do over at Smash Communications. Sustainable marketing is authentic, relevant, and measurable advertising. Without the big media buy. Think of it as modern advertising. No need for TV or print which loses its “value” when the ad stops running. (I put “value” in quotes because frankly, when is the last time you were moved to do ANYTHING because of a print ad you saw in a magazine at the dentist’s office? What is this, 1950?) Sustainable marketing helps tell your brand’s story in a human way that also satisfies the search engine bots. No, it doesn’t result in a spike in revenue (or inquiries) right away. It takes some time. But once it’s in motion, it continues to provide long-term value. Which is more than even the best Super Bowl ad can do. Click here to learn more about this radical, new kind of advertising. Because it’s real. Effective. And measurable.

It just requires that you think a little differently.



Jim Mitchem

The Hemingway Guide to Killer Content
The Story of Your Life

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.