Other Advertising Stuff ... or... The Fringe World of Mainstream Advertising


How Do You Sell Cheese?

A few months ago, someone I know, virtually at least, posted a simple question about the difference between advertising and marketing on his blog.

It occured to me that a number of years ago I myself didn't have the faintest idea how the two differed. Odd that I was actually working in Marketing, and I still am.

I guess I've learned a lot in the intervening years:

I know how you sell cheese.

Here was my response to Luke:

I mostly inhabit the strange netherworld between marketing and advertising.

Marketing is the idea, the strategy, and the look and feel, the Brand. It works hand-in-hand with product development and positioning.

Advertising is the come-on. It's the slave to the marketing. It dresses up in the clothes that marketing designed and makes the pitch. It drives the sales.
So, Marketing creates your profile. Advertising posts it with your picture on the internet.

Marketing decides you need to work out more and figures out which colors you look best in; it assesses where you fit in and decides where you'd really rather look like you fit in. It studies the competition and how to beat them. It creates the wardrobe. It crafts the personality and develops the brand.

Advertising shows up at the party wearing the little black dress. It buys someone a drink and dances with them. It puts the offer on the table. Or the billboard or the 30-second spot.

So, Great Cheese Comes From Happy Cows, right? Marketing is the process of deciding to distinguish California Cheese from the rest, to create the look and feel of the packaging and how to display it at the store, and to develop the whole idea that California Cheese rocks.

Advertising airs commercials with cows talking like surfers and hanging out on spectacular sunny California hillsides. It tries to make you go buy the happy cheese instead of the uptight cheese.

That was most of it, anyway.

For the most part, you're either in Marketing, or you're in Advertising. You're not often in both, unless like me you have a little company and you're also in Management, Maintenence, Accounting, I.T., Transportation, H.R., and Custodial, too.


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