“Two kinds, it turns out: Brand ads and direct ads. Brand ads are the unmeasurable, widely seen ads you generally think of when you think of an ad. A billboard, a TV commercial, an imprinted mug. Direct ads, on the other hand, are action-oriented and measurable. Infomercials, mail order catalogs and many sorts of digital media are considered direct marketing.
It takes guts to be a brand marketer.
What’s the return on a $75,000 investment of a full-page ad in the New Yorker?
What’s the yield on a three-million dollar Super Bowl commercial?
We have no idea. Brand marketers don’t do math. They pay attention to the culture instead.
On the other hand, it takes math to be a direct marketer.
What’s the yield on this classified ad? How many people used that discount code? How many clicks did we get?”
This concept of brand and direct ads has been expanded by Shelly Palmer (pictured above) who divides direct ads into two different camps:
“When asked about the “future of advertising,” I am always struck by the lay notion that there is a single thing called “advertising.” There isn’t. There are at least three different general categories of advertising: call to action, direct response and brand/lifestyle.