If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

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David Ogilvy is often referred to as the “Father of Advertising.” He created some of the most memorable ad campaigns in history. His Hathaway shirts ad campaign ran for 25 years! His campaign for Schweppes ran for 18 years. A campaign he created for Pepperidge Farm ran for over 30 years!

Why am I telling you this?

I’m telling you because it speaks to a point that I find myself constantly having to remind clients of: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Too many times, marketers get the urge to shake things up and launch new campaigns when the old campaign was performing splendidly. It’s change for the sake of change, and it can cause serious damage to a brand.

See, brands are built on consistency. Dos Equis has built its brand recently around The Most Interesting Man in the World character. When you see a Dos Equis bottle, you think of that character and vice versa. This character has taken the company to new heights, and they’d be foolish to abandon him while the campaign is still producing results.

That’s not to say that you can’t add things to existing campaigns or tweak them slightly to maintain their relevance. I’m all for that. Maintenance is a key to effective marketing. But if your campaign is producing good results, you shouldn’t scrap it and start all over just because you feel like it’s time to do something new. That’s totally ridiculous and very dangerous.

It’s like when a band you’ve loved for years completely changes their image and style because they got bored with the old stuff. It sucks, and it usually costs them their fanbase.

So, the next time you think about launching a fancy new marketing campaign, stop and ask yourself why you’re doing it. Is it really necessary? Is the old campaign broken? If not, don’t try to fix it!



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