AAF Touts Ad Power

Carmichael Lynch uses well-known brands to convince businesses of the power of advertising in its new campaign for the American Advertising Federation.

The Minneapolis agency won the pro-bono account, which bills for $12 million, last year. The agency’s task was to illustrate the importance of advertising to the top executives of large companies.

“Other things get more [of their] concern, like lobbying efforts, employment and financial issues,” said Wally Snyder, president of the AAF. “We really want to connect in their minds how important advertising is.”

The print campaign, tentatively slated to break next week in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, uses the logos of well-known brands, with the word “Advertising” replacing the product name. One using Coca-Cola’s logo—one of the most recognized around the world—reads “Adver-Tising” in Coke’s distinctive script. “The secret formula, revealed,” is written in smaller type. The campaign’s tag is, “Advertising: How great brands get to be great brands.”

“We wanted to capture the emotional aspect of advertising,” said John Colasanti, CL’s president. “It’s not just agency people who understand it; it’s other people as well.”

Other brands being showcased in the campaign are Sunkist and Energizer. Convincing those companies—particularly Coca-Cola—to approve use of their logos in the campaign is a testament to their belief in the power of the message the AAF was trying to send, Snyder said.

The executions will also appear in trade publications. Mainstream business publications are also likely, Snyder said.