Image Advertising vs. Direct Response Advertising

Sometimes, an ad is noteworthy just because it defies the laws of advertising — or seems to.  Instead of flattering the buyer or focusing on what he gets out of the deal (“what’s in it for me”), it focuses more on what he DOESN’T get, what’s NOT in it for him. And it focuses — unflatteringly in this case — on the SELLER.  Such a strategy is risky, of course, because it says, “Here I am, warts and all, and whether you buy from me or don’t buy from me it doesn’t matter because, frankly, I don’t care!”  It will either succeed or fail based on how the intended audience responds.  It is NOT a conventional ad.

This commercial is for a used mobile home reseller in Alabama. It’s a good example of “image” advertising. It is seeking to “cull” a unique image, as you’ll see. (Although, maybe in this industry, it’s NOT so unique!)

Image advertising is meant to position your business. It doesn’t necessarily highlight any specific benefits to the reader or viewer.  It doesn’t have a “call to action” per se.  It just says, ‘this is who I am, this is what I do, take it or leave it.’  Hence, it is not like direct-response advertising.

Like the name says, it’s about creating an image, creating a brand presence for a niche audience, the idea of uniqueness in the minds of prospective buyers/customers. It says, “Do business with me, and you’ll see why I’m different.”

Hopefully, “different” in a good way.

Anyway, here’s the ad:


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