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  • Mark Burns

HOT TAKE: Stop Advertising. Do this instead.


Mad Men "Lost Horizon" - Roger and Peggy toast to the end of an era

Advertising is an unforgiving task.

You’re presenting to the toughest of tough crowds. The vast majority of your audience doesn’t care, won’t remember, or didn’t even notice; some aren’t even human. They don’t appreciate how painstakingly you crafted your messaging and tone. Sure, when you connect with exactly the right person at the right time, it’s wonderful - but the reality is that you are investing a ton of energy that just gets sucked into the void.

Oddly enough, there is a separate, truly captive audience right under your nose.

This is the industrial audience: your employees, colleagues, and business partners. They already know your name, they are actively seeking information, and they are just begging to be presented with something interesting, entertaining, or even challenging. This is a dream crowd. If you divert some of your advertising energy their way, the ROI will be tenfold.

Because if you can produce entertaining training content, you will see improvements to your product, process, employee skills, and morale. If you thoughtfully convey company & industry updates, you’ll spark innovation and opportunity. A little energy diverted to the industrial audience will enhance communication, customer service, and your company’s overall quality of work. These are core foundational elements; advertising is a shiny coat of paint.

This is a prime example of an arbitrage situation. Advertisers pay premium rates for a slightly relevant audience, “viewable” content, or a modicum of engagement. Imagine the dollar value of a captive audience. You know precisely who makes up this audience. They watch your content for several uninterrupted minutes - sometimes even taking notes. Yet they are too often taken for granted. We need to meet them halfway.

The best part is, this doesn’t necessitate a full shift of resources, just some finesse. Your industrial content should ideally:

  • Play to the height of your audience’s intelligence to build trust with them and stimulate their curiosity

  • Take an irreverent approach to your topic that makes your messaging more human and relatable

  • Be thoughtful, vibrant, and entertaining - like an ad, but less shout-y

That may sound a bit intimidating. It should - it takes both nuance and courage. But fear not, because at Punch Up Creative, we’re experts at developing industrial content and helping people leverage comedy & satire to tell an engaging story. We’ll help you chart a path that will energize your captive audience.

And just like that, this whole economic lecture turned out to be another shameless ad.