Caution! Beware Award Winning Advertisements!


Last week news broke that LIME Jamaica had won total of 7 awards for excellence in advertising, and this marketer congratulates them on their achievement. Somebody must have done something right.

And speaking of popular advertisements my mind goes back to Coca Cola and Sergio Zyman,  author of,  “The End Of Marketing as We Now Know It,” first published in 1999. In it Zyman (a former Chief Marketing Officer at Coca Cola) speaks of what he later described as his colossal failure.

“I am on record,” he said, “as being the person who pulled the plug on rerunning Coke’s famous Hilltop campaign. That was the one where we set up a bunch of kids from all over the world on the top of a hill and had them chirp, ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing.'”

“I know, you loved that ad. Everybody loved that ad. And I didn’t stop using it because I didn’t like it-I actually liked the film. It’s touching, warm, and a great vehicle for promoting unity among the different people of the world. As a matter of fact, in 1979 when the ad was first introduced, I was working on the Coke account for McCann-Erickson in Mexico. We adapted the ad; we even found a Mexican girl who was on the shoot and featured her in a bunch of ancillary marketing activities.”

But did that ad sell any more Coke? Nope!”

All it did was give people a nice warm, fuzzy feeling about Coca Cola. In fact it was so unsuccessful that we lost market share the entire time it ran.”

This marketer loves popular advertisements; and respects marketers that measure the value that they create.

Herman D. Alvaranga is a marketing and sales strategist and lecturer.


One thought on “Caution! Beware Award Winning Advertisements!

  1. Great point you’ve made here. Marketers are so busy focusing on buzz that they forget their job is to actually sell the product, not just have people talk about it. The quote ‘Don’t watch the noise in the market, watch the sale’ is one I use very often to demonstrate this.


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