And now for a word from our sponsors

Even though I work mostly in the online end of things, I'm still in marketing and work for a large, well-respected ad agency. And while I am an evangelist for the effectiveness of online marketing, I'm not as quick to assault older forms of advertising as others in my profession. Despite the diminishing effectiveness of TV advertising in the face of Tivos/DVRs, I still think it's a very potent medium. TV still has massive reach and gives people a common point of reference that the segmentation of the online world just can't touch.

"Did you see that episode of 24 last night?"

"I can't believe that dude on Man vs Wild drank water from elephant dung!"

"That catch was amazing!"

So TV still plays a major role. But what messages actually cut through the clutter? And which ads do people actually stop to watch, or even, seek out? Yes, they do exist. Just jump on YouTube and do a search for any random national commercial you like and odds are somebody's probably already uploaded it to be viewed by several tens of thousands of people (who also actively seeked it out.) I did the same thing last night and ended up viewing various commercials for longer than I'd care to admit.

Over the course of my browsing I came across many classic, older commercials and it occurred to me . . . why don't companies dust off some of their classic, proven advertising messages and re-run them? When a major band tours, they don't just play stuff off the current album. They also play their tried and true hits. Advertisers should do the same. Many of the more generic branding messages (without references to specific products, etc.) could be run pretty much as-is. I think it could carry a lot of positive nostalgia and help messages stand out.

Folgers still re-runs their old 'Peter' commercial around the holidays each year. And even though it might at first seem at odds with one of my company's core functions, I wish more companies would experiment with this on a limited scale. Here's some other old ads I stumbled across which I'd love to see resurrected.

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