Blog post by: Marina Pappas, Baer Performance Marketing Intern
Over the years, companies have strived to make their product or service memorable by creating lasting impressions with their target audience through ad campaigns. However, in order to not achieve notoriety, companies must create an image and slogan that will resonate with their demographic in a memorable manner. Two successful advertising campaigns that abided by this ideal include Clairol and Avis.
Avis –a car rental company – made a bold move in 1962 when newly appointed president Robert C. Townsend hired the renowned advertising agency Doyle, Dane and Bernbach (DDB) to give the company a fresh look. The tagline they developed, “We try harder,” was one of the longest lasting taglines in advertising history. The campaign focused on honest and truthful statements about Avis’ business philosophy.
However, what really made the tagline work for Avis is the fact that their employees held true to the phrase. The company’s management team traveled to each branch across the country and introduced the concept to every employee by explaining the need for great customer service within every interaction. In addition, each Avis employee received a copy of new Avis ads within their pay envelope before the campaign would run. In just one year after starting the slogan and running the advertising campaign, Avis saw a jump in revenues from $34 million to $38 million, and Avis turned a profit of $1.2 million.
Another interesting, and successful, advertising campaign is that of Clairol, a known hair coloring company. Clairol’s junior copywriter Shirley Polykoff developed the famous slogan “Does she…or doesn’t she?” During this era, women who colored their hair were looked down upon due to the unnaturalness of dying one’s hair. However, Clairol came up with a clever print ad that showed a woman (who looked like the girl next door) who had used Clairol next to a child with the same hair color to make the woman seem more sentimental and natural versus tawdry. Within six years of printing the campaign, an estimated 70% of adult women were coloring their hair, and Clairol’s sales increased by 413%. In 1967, Shirley Polykoff was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame.
So what can be learned from all of this?
While many brands have developed creative or clever advertising campaigns that have put themselves ahead of their competition for short periods of time, companies like Avis and Clairol that see long-lasting success do their research to effectively speak and resonate with their target demographic.