I just watched the most absurd commercial. It’s for Angel Soft toilet paper. A guy asks his wife for a roll of toilet paper. It’s a classic Goldilocks. First she throws him a roll that’s too hard. Then, it’s too soft. Then she throws him the Angel Soft roll followed by a jingle… “Angel Soft… an ideal balance of softness and strength.”
It may not sound so corny on paper as you’re reading this. But I guarantee you, the jingle… awful.
It brought me to wonder why agencies would write such an awkward line of copy. Were the other lines rejected after some AB testing? Maybe legally speaking they can’t use certain phrases that other brands have used to express “softness without sacrificing the strength.”
Whatever reason, I heard that jingle and balked. So yes, good job ad agency, I remember the commercial. However, I’m also a brand whore. Charmin only. And anything other than Bounty in my Kitchen, Lysol in my bathroom, or Tide by my laundry basket? I think not. So no, the commercial also didn’t change my purchasing decision. But I’m unique. I love advertisements and studying them.
My real question is how did the commercial come about? The product manager, maybe product marketing manager, the advertising agency, media buyer, and all the third party hands that have touched the commercial from the studios to the channels where the commercial is broadcasted. They all touched the commercial. What were their inputs and influences? How much do you trust the gut instinct of your ad agency versus the pages of spreadsheets with scanner data and consumer perception via focus groups, surveys, etc.? How do you separate the noise in the numbers from the statistically significant? If you can’t, what do you rely on? If you’re a product manager in this situation, how do you make your decision?
I don’t know. I want to learn.
I believe there is too much reliance on numbers, even when it means making assumptions that aren’t comparatively significant. I believe in “an ideal balance of intuition and data.” My goal is to learn that ideal balance.