Do you remember your first job interview? One of mine was for an advertising agency, and I had to do a copy test. That is, they set me a load of questions and I had to write inspiring copy in response.
One of the questions was: ‘What is the most recent product you have bought, in response to advertising?’
I remember snootily replying that I wasn’t taken in by any of the usual advertising tricks. I was wrong. Since then, I’ve been conscious of adverts influencing what I buy.
For example, I have recently been on the lookout for the new sweets from Mars, called ‘Planets’. A great name for them, on so many levels!
According to the TV ads, the packs include chocolates with soft, crispy and chewy centres – almost the same ingredients as a classic Mars Bar.
They show the first filling, soft nougat. ‘Yum,’ I thought, ‘I like nougat.’
They show the second filling, crispy wafer. ‘Hmm,’ I thought, ‘I don’t like wafer much.’
They show the third filling, chewy caramel. ‘Yum,’ I thought, ‘I like caramel. Two out of three ain’t bad.’ And I went to three or four sweet shops until I found my first packet to taste.
Mars is very clever.
They have stretched their brand into big bars, small bars, ice-cream, and now packet sweets. And they’ve launched their latest product with advertising that made me search it out and buy it.