(click here to watch ad)

Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, Wal-Mart. Advertisers with enormous ad budgets, and in the first two cases, over a century of advertising momentum, not to mention a combined market cap of half a Trillion dollars.

The early advertisements of these players were filled with features, benefits, claims, substantiation, and special offers. The timeless key components of Audiolytics – our proprietary approach to structuring, auditing, and optimizing a performance message. Over time, their need to introduce themselves and win over new customers diminished. Longer time horizons are applied for Return on Ad Spend. Top of Mind Awareness begins to rule the day. They are now positioned to run pure Brand creative, with a business case to support it.

Now consider Tile, founded less than five years ago, with a recent Series B and a total investment reaching $59M. If you work in consumer tech, you probably know Tile. If you’re a regular hard-working American (the true gatekeepers to scale), you probably don’t. While this 1-minute 45-second attempt at entertainment falls into an ocean of YouTube videos, it’s hard to imagine how the investment in this type of production will ever attract interest or customers to justify the capital required to create it.

Let’s get specific: looking at the Audiolytics™ key components, it scores a 30%. It lacks Positioning, Demonstration, Substantiation, Scarcity, an Offer – to name a few. The goal here is to get you to FEEL. It is well made, and we’re all happy to see a girl reunited with her Panda. But for that to matter, Tile must capture your attention and keep it. We don’t need to tell you how easily lost such an asset is on YouTube, and we don’t need to tell you how it is possible to artificially juice the viewership numbers to simulate, “Viral” interest. But who are we kidding? For a nascent brand, this is advertising malpractice. Let’s not even start on the dollars wasted in campaign teasers. Indeed, if this goes to Television, you will likely see a more sensible cut down to :30 or :15 seconds that might spend a full :05 or :10 seconds selling the product. But still, that’s at least 2/3rds of their media investment dedicated to a popularity contest.

We wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the table from Bessemer and Khosla Ventures answering for this ad’s impact on customer growth. We all have an ego, and we all have dreams of being loved by the masses, but let us not confuse advertising for art. Our job is to sell. Once you have a few decades of advertising momentum behind your product, you have earned the right to take some liberties and plan the long-term impact of awareness. But newcomer Tile should not afford itself this luxury. This ad is not all bad. They just need to put it in a time capsule and show it to your great-grandkids.

That is, if  Tile is around in 100 years.

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