Are using common sayings in a culture a poor way to advertise? I think as long as you can write copy around a very popular phrase it could do well. But I also wonder if it could be a pitfall, because you don't know how many people truly are familiar with the popular saying. I saw a billboard ad today that was selling women's boots. It read "These boots are made for selling", after the phrase "Those boots are made for walking". That phrase is very popular at least here in Arizona so it works as in people catch your drift. My personal opinion of the ad though is that it's total crap. What do you guys think?

So, here is my opinion on it

So, here is my opinion on it: Knowing who you are talking to is very important -- your target demographic. That being said, when you are writing advertisements, do you only want to write to these demographics? Or do you want to appeal to anyone who reads it? In the example that you have provided, by referencing a song (Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made for Walkin'), you are appealing to people who HAVE heard the song, but you are not appealing to people who haven't -- which minimizes your prospective customers. Also, I think it's worth mentioning that if this ad would have been translated into any other language, it would loose it's effectiveness (if it had any to begin with) because the song referenced would probably not transfer over very well into different cultures.

On that note, I would personally agree with you that this ad is not very good. To elaborate, let's look at the strategy; First, what is an advertising strategy? According to the book The Advertising Concept Book by Pete Barry: "The strategy can come from a proposition/benefit of the product, how it's used, the market background, the choice of target audience, or any combination thereof." When we look at the headline you mentioned: "These boots are made for selling," what kind of strategy is this? is it conveying a single proposition or benefit? No. Is it describing the marketing background? No. Is it describing how it's used? No. If anything, I would have to say that it is trying to appeal to a certain demographic -- southern United States culture (note again, the reference of the song). But, is it really saying anything about the boots themselves? Or what differentiates them from any other boot on the market? I would have to say that it doesn't.

In conclusion, and in my opinion, a better strategy would have been to advertise one key benefit of the boots that separates them from others (ex. comfort, leather used to make the boot, durability, toughness, etc...) Focusing on just one of any of these would be a better choice for a strategy than referencing of an old country song to appeal to southern culture.


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