Here's an ad:
See if you can spot the foolishness in it;
Let me help.
Let's read the copy.
Play fast, think fast
For total ball control, Nike's Magista boots are made for creative playmaking containing revolutionary 3-d texture, a lockdown fit and a 360 degrees rotational traction pattern.
Now of course, Nike and any other company selling a commodity, need fresh energy driven into their selling copy. (And of course, have it be truthful at the same time.)
So when you read the main copy - containing revolutionary 3-d texture, a lockdown fit and a 360 degrees rotational traction pattern - it makes you think firstly, what jargon filled gobbledygook, and secondly... it makes you can't this same gobbledegook be applied to any of Nike's football boots, no matter how far back you go?
Revolutionary 3-d texture - what exactly is revolutionary about it? (And if you care to know what the word revolutionary means in a product, innovation context, you'll find - causing or relating to a great or complete change. Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary) Oh dear, I don't think the Magista's revolutionary 3-d texture is going to fit into Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Nike have their own interpretation of what they mean by revolutionary.
A lockdown fit -Whatever that means. Would not a simple explanation about it be useful and helpful? Would not a simple description of the benefits of the lockdown fit, be useful?
And here's a phrase that'll help expand the features (and yes, believe it or not, Nike have hired ad people who do not know how to promote benefits. They'd rather be content with promoting jargon filled features of the product)... and... that seemingly magic, features-to-benefit phrase is...
means that you can
So let's see that magical pithy phrase, in action
Nike's Magista's revolutionary 3-d texture means that you can get a closer than ever control of the ball, almost velcro-like grip so you can keep the ball on your feet for longer, so giving you more time to create those unplayable moves that'll leave your opponents wide-eyed and red faced.
See how that works?
It's not a revolutionary or secret filled piece of knowledge.
Yet, to the Nike creatives who worked on the ad above, it obviously is a piece of secret, revolutionary insight. Either that, or the Ad Pros couldn't give a damn about this proven knowledge and decide that they'd rather invest Nike's money on their own whims and nonsense.
And that's just it - most create such advertising foolishness because... their own money is not on the line.
If you want advertising that works, do the opposite of what doesn't.
And oh, the think fast element of Nike's strap line, needs rethinking.
Because most on the pitch (no matter what level) think fast and because of that...make wrong, rash or sloppy decisions.
(See the part I wrote above. It's the little piece right after the velcro-type grip and the benefit that gives you. And there's nothing about playing fast, thinking fast. I'm not however going to explain how to adopt that for Nike because they're paying their ad agency people to have the brains to do that, correct?).