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Walking through the Denver airport last week, I couldn’t help but notice the cute dog on this wall ad. After admiring the dog, I realized the Xerox ad features a customer, Target.

Xerox showcases its relationship with Target, indicating the company provides customized direct mail programs for the retailer.

While Xerox uses what I would call customer marketing – featuring customers – the ad doesn’t quite achieve Success-Story Marketing.

Here’s why:

1 – Tying the major Target name with Xerox adds credibility for the vendor, and educates us just a bit on how Target entrusts Xerox with its direct marketing.

For this reason, it works on some levels, but doesn’t go as far as it could.

2- The ad actually lacks results.

I believe, to be truly effective, the ad has to show a successful resolution or outcome for the customer – or validation.

I’ve seen customer-focused ads that tell stories. It’s possible to do it in the small space of an ad – or even encourage people to see the full story online.

Here’s how SAS featured the results of 1-800-Flowers (not sure where this appeared):

Granted, the graphics aren’t as engaging as the Xerox ad.

What do you think? Maybe in the brisk, walk-by airport setting, an ad can’t convey much, and the Xerox ad accomplishes at least credibility. Or, do you think Xerox should have gone a step further and mentioned a specific result?

3 Responses to What Missing from This Ad?

  1. Larry Kunz says:

    Here’s something even more obvious that’s missing (or at least obscured): I thought it was an ad for Target. Only when you told me that it was a Xerox ad, did I go back and spot their teeny-tiny logo in the corner. Hurrying through an airport, I definitely wouldn’t have known whose ad it was.

    SAS, on the other hand, put their name right up there with the client’s. And, as you said, the copy is results-oriented. That ad succeeds

  2. Casey Hibbard says:

    Hi Larry,

    You’re right, the Xerox logo is pretty tiny up there in the corner! It’s really a co-marketing effort here, and the vendor doesn’t give itself much play. But as you said, SAS and 1-800-Flowers are right together in the headline of the other ad.

    I guess when it comes to remembering a message, #2, with its result of $40 million, would be more memorable.

    Thanks for weighing in!

  3. Pamela DeLoatch says:

    I agree that the second ad is more effective in demonstrating a tangible result from using SAS. The Target ad didn’t offer that. I think Xerox is trying to do too much in this picture. It’s trying to inform customers that it offers business solutions and that Target trusts them, but the website is counter-intuitive to what you’d think Xerox’s website would be. I initially thought realbusiness.com was for yet another company.

    So the seemingly simple ad is confusing, and the less sexy ad is more effective.