It's Time For Advertising To Start Showing The Customer More Respect

So you want to improve advertising? Let’s start with the customer.

Advertising agencies and marketers need to stop treating people as if they’re stupid, easily manipulated morons. Or empty-headed puppets who can be influenced by solely pulling on their emotional strings.

Much current advertising is created without even a passing thought for what the actual benefit to the customer might be. This shows very little respect for them – acting as if people can be brainwashed into their decision-making, or won over with brainless advertising that exists only for entertainment value.

People are not simply ‘consumers’ on a chart waiting eagerly to nod along with whatever we say or buy what we put in front of them.

They’re real people. They are you, your mum, your best friend.

They’re smart – certainly much more intelligent than most current advertising gives them credit for.

Given the choice, they would quite happily do without advertising altogether, but if they have to be faced with it, they don’t want to be patronised or treated like idiots.

They want, and deserve, to be treated as reasoning, intelligent beings.

If we want to improve the quality and effectiveness of advertising, we need to start here.

With marketers and ad agencies treating the customer with more respect.

Our new book ‘How To Make Better Advertising and Advertising Better – The Manifesto for a New Creative Revolution’ is available exclusively at the Design Museum.

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