Home Advertising Tips The Advertising Equation Isn't Broken, It's Incomplete

The Advertising Equation Isn't Broken, It's Incomplete

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Einstein’s equations (like&nbsp;E = MC2) simply and beautifully describe the complex world of physics.

When Einstein published his theories in the early 20th century, physicists thought they were getting close to the holy grail of physics — a hypothetical “theory of everything” that would comprehensively describe all laws of nature.

But breakthroughs in quantum mechanics raised questions about Einstein’s theories. Soon, physicists realized that the math behind Einstein’s theories and the math behind quantum physics didn’t work together. Einstein’s math was incomplete. A new approach was needed to comprehensively describe physics.

Similarly, by the middle of the 20th century, the advertising industry developed a simple and powerful equation for mass marketing:

Growth = Message x Media

If a company’s research and positioning were insightful enough, its message creative enough and its media plan smart (and funded) enough, mass marketing would reliably result in growth.

But by the turn of the century, the internet called the effectiveness of the advertising equation into question. Media fragmentation and empowered consumers permanently diminished the “mass” in mass marketing. Mass media, mass marketing and even mass culture were fading. A new equation was needed to drive growth.

Over half a century since advertising giants like Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy showed us how to use the advertising equation to make brands famous, we’re finally able to articulate the next iteration of the marketing equation:

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Shutterstock

Einstein’s equations (like E = MC2) simply and beautifully describe the complex world of physics.

When Einstein published his theories in the early 20th century, physicists thought they were getting close to the holy grail of physics — a hypothetical “theory of everything” that would comprehensively describe all laws of nature.

But breakthroughs in quantum mechanics raised questions about Einstein’s theories. Soon, physicists realized that the math behind Einstein’s theories and the math behind quantum physics didn’t work together. Einstein’s math was incomplete. A new approach was needed to comprehensively describe physics.

Similarly, by the middle of the 20th century, the advertising industry developed a simple and powerful equation for mass marketing:

Growth = Message x Media

If a company’s research and positioning were insightful enough, its message creative enough and its media plan smart (and funded) enough, mass marketing would reliably result in growth.

But by the turn of the century, the internet called the effectiveness of the advertising equation into question. Media fragmentation and empowered consumers permanently diminished the “mass” in mass marketing. Mass media, mass marketing and even mass culture were fading. A new equation was needed to drive growth.

Over half a century since advertising giants like Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy showed us how to use the advertising equation to make brands famous, we’re finally able to articulate the next iteration of the marketing equation:

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


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