Message Themes

Published October 30, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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A marketer’s goal is to get a powerful message out to their target audience.  Kennedy (2011) suggests the best ads are built with the most persuasive, compelling, intriguing, fascinating message possible. To construct a super powered marketing message advertisers must assess everything and everyone they are up against that are presenting similar messages because their intent is to deliver a message that trumps all others and puts them in a category of uniqueness (Kennedy, 2011).  The strategy that helps marketers achieve these outcomes is doing their homework to come up with a unique selling proposition (USP) justifying their message against the competition. Incorporating a USP into the message theme of an advertising campaign will help the brand stand out above the others and is more likely to remain a fixture in the memories of consumers.

coffee_tasters_choice

Before marketers can start to build a tactical business case for content marketing they have to begin with the concept of innovation.  Baack and Clow (2012) explain that message themes are developed into a campaign to transmit key ideas in marketing campaigns. The use of recurring themes helps make the brand stand out more and is more effective at remaining in consumer memories. The message can incorporate different kinds of strategies that target (a) cognitive, (b) affective, or (c) conative responses to make their ads more appealing (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, back in the 1990s, the Taster’s Choice Coffee Company created a series of ads that became both popular and memorable (Commercial, 1991). The ad conveyed a simple recurring theme in their message that conveyed that life seemed much better sharing a cup of Taster’s Choice coffee with someone special. The recurring theme that communicated their message was constructed in the form of a series of short dramatic scenes like a mini soap opera. Each time the couple would appear in different circumstances while viewers watched their relationship develop. The action was centered around the theme of sharing a cup of coffee each time viewers tuned in to witness the unique circumstances brought them together in each new ad. This advertising strategy was innovative at the time making this ad campaign a phenomenon in the history of TV commercials. This strategy was met with great success because their target audience was focused on people who were hooked to popular soap opera type shows at the time like Dallas and All My Children. Consumers were eagerly waiting for the next commercial to witness the plot development between the couple that was featured in the ads. Not only did sales boom, the Taster’s Choice brand became a part of pop culture during that time as millions of viewers anticipated each new episode to be a witness to the couple’s blossoming relationship. It was considered one of the most effective marketing campaigns on television at that era because of the emotional chord it struck with viewers. The soap opera message theme that delivered their message in that campaign was the bait that kept luring viewers and put Taster’s Choice in consumer memories for a long time. It’s twenty plus years later and I still remember them!

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References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

1991 Taster’s Choice Coffee Commercial (1991). [Motion Picture]. USA.

Kennedy, D. (2011). The ultimate marketing plan: Target your audience (Fourth ed.). Avon, MA, USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

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