Breakthrough Advertising Part 1

Marketing For the Masses

In order to reach the masses, it’s important to market for the masses. The greatest advertisements in the world are crafted to meet the needs of the key demographic. One of the biggest mistakes in marketing is trying to dictate what the market wants without understanding the market. Bucking the trend rarely pays off. This doesn’t mean it’s necessary to produce exactly what the competition is doing, but it does mean a business needs a stronger grasp on its key demographic. The more it knows, the easier it becomes to craft something made specifically for their needs.

What the Audience Wants Doesn’t Mean It Already Exists

Bucking the trend doesn’t mean staying in line with the competition. When Apple first released the iPhone in 2007, it didn’t do so simply to buck the trend of the modern phone of the time. The company knew people wanted a portable music player. They wanted the GPS features of their car to accompany them where they walked. And they wanted the functionality of a full keyboard on a portable device. Instead of copying the competition and going the way of BlackBerry (even HTC had a smartphone out before the iPhone release), Apple released something it knew the public wanted. A mass desire for such a product existed; only the product itself did not exist yet.

The Creation Of Mass Desire

A business performs well when there’s a mass desire for a product. Everything from bottled water to hybrid cars came about not because the companies decided to take a stab at releasing a new product. The market indicated the products would hit the ground running. A mass desire for the product exists, these companies just filled the void of the desire. But how does such a mass desire come about? There are several factors at play.

Most mass desires come about over time. It can take years and the culmination of social, political, economic and technological factors to create such a mass desire. If fuel costs remained low, hybrid vehicles likely would have never come about. However, a number of different factors went into pushing the price of oil up, which in turn had an effect on consumers looking for improved fuel economy vehicles.

Mass desire splits into two set categories: change and permanent. For example, people will always want to lose weight. That’s a permanent factor.  People will always try to attract others. Many of these factors have existed for hundreds of years (if not since the dawn of time with one mate attempting to attract another). A company looking to produce a product and an advertising looking to market the product can play off of these permanent factors.

The second is change. Change comes in varying forms. Clothing and design continually evolve. The kind of car driven  (the SUV surge in the 1990s followed by the economic sedan in the 2000s) or the popularity of beer bars are all signs of the time and changes. When creating a product and marketing to customers, it’s all about understanding these changes and looking for a way to meet the demands of the market.

There are plenty of variables affecting how change affects mass desire. Celebrities and people of influence can dictate style, for example. In modern marketing, though influence doesn’t just come from sports stars and actors. It can come from YouTube personalities and Instagram models. In order to successfully market to a key demographic, it is critical to take into account not only the change in mass desire but what remains constant as well. People want to look good, but they want to look good in the latest trends. This combines the two mass desires together.

Crafting Marketing For Customers in a World of Mass Desire

It’s up to the advertising department and those creating content to craft marketing designed to connect with a key demographic. This comes down to the product, what the message of the marketing is for, and knowledge of the demographic. Having as much understanding and knowledge of the target audience provides more than enough information to craft marketing material designed to connect with consumers while remaining connected with mass desire.

Mass desire is something that can cause problems for some businesses. They see a universal mass desire going on, or something that’s either trending or extremely popular at the time. To the general public it may have mass appeal, but does it have such a connection with the target demographic? A product doesn’t need to have universal mass appeal. It needs to have mass appeal to the target audience. So it is important to identify what the mass desire is within a key demographic and not universally.

Playing Off of the Mass Desire

Once a business has identified what is important to its target audience, it then must promote its product and showcase how it can fill the void of the consumer. This is done in three different steps.

The first step is demand or urgency. It needs to create a sense of urgency. Such as the product will only be available for a limited time. Or there are only a certain number of products available.

The second step is repetition. A customer can’t just see a single advertisement once. It needs to be repeated, again and again. There’s a reason why beer companies don’t just release a single advertisement during a sporting event. It may have a dozen different TV spots over the course of the program.

The third step is the scope or size of the marketing. In other words, the number of people who are potentially influenced by the marketing campaign. These are the people willing to purchase the product or invest in the service.

Within the advertising, it is possible to include each of these three points. However, when crafting an attractive, attention-grabbing headline for a product, it’s important to focus on one. Including too much information may bog down the headline, which can result in the key demographic not taking notice of it. The headline is there to bridge the gap between the consumer and the product, so it just needs to entice them and yet instantly connect them mentally to the mass desire.

The Product

A physical product is, in reality, broken down into two different products. There is the physical aspect of the product (aka what it’s made out of), and the second aspect of the product is its function. A book is made up of paper and (sometimes) leather. People do not purchase the book for the paper, the ink, leather or anything else used in production. They buy it for the book itself.

While customers do not purchase the product for the physical elements used in its construction, it does enable it to perform as it should (and for a company to charge what it does). Despite customers not buying a product for its physical materials, some advertisers highlight the material and not what it can do. Leather seating in a car is a bullet point, but consumers do not buy the car because leather was used. They buy the car because what it can do. The material should never become the headline of a product. Yes, it can be used to identify the quality of the build, but the headline needs to always be what the item actually does for a customer.

The physical attributes of the product can be used to highlight the quality and to justify the price. A higher thread count or more steel can reinforce why a company charges what it does. There’s a reason why high-end tech manufacturers like Apple include build materials within the product rundown. People are not buying the phone because it has an aluminum frame or glass back. But it helps quantify why the company charges what it does.

It may help to think of a product and the materials used to construct a product as performers in a movie. The headline, main star is what the product does. It’s what sells the item. However, the supporting actors help improve the quality of the film, just like the materials used in production help support the quality of the product.


Every product provides a consumer with some kind of performance. However, most products are not limited to one. In order to create a quality marketing campaign and to connect with the mass desire, it’s important to understand what kind of performances the product brings to a consumer. A vehicle provides a consumer with a means of transportation, an economical way to travel, it’s dependable, the brand may offer recognition, prove to be a valuable investment and may even have a novelty to it. For a business or marketing firm, it’s important to look at the product and identify each way it delivers a performance to the customer. Will it elevate their social status if others see them with it? How does it improve their lives?

Above all else, it’s necessary to identify what problems it addresses. With a car, it offers an economic, valuable mode of transportation. These are three different problems it addresses. By understanding how a product performs and what issues it addresses, the company and advertising firm can move on with crafting the right marketing campaign.

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