What This Canadian Advertising Agency Can Teach You About Super Ads


Super advertising – what’s that like? When is an advert truly magnificent, mind-blowing and game changing? Or alternatively, when is an ad terrible and not much more than a waste of time and money?

Canadian advertising agency Cossette launched a video last week, which explains ‘super-ads’. Cossette says a super-ad is the type of advert that works for anything you like to advertise, in any language, for any brand.

So there’s no more need to waste time and money on developing different creative concepts and executions. Take a look at this one-size-fits-all advert:



What is what you expected it to be? Not really, huh? But still, Cossette makes a very valid point: there’s no such thing as a super-ad. We need creative ideas and new approaches in order to tell our message effectively.

So if there’s no secret formula for great advertising, is there at least a way to avoid bad advertising? Luckily there is (and it isn’t a gimmick this time, I promise).


Filter out bad advertising

 I remember a blog post a few months back from marketing guru Seth Godin in which he discussed the latest campaign of American Airlines. “American Airlines doesn’t know what to say,” he said “and they’re having a lot of trouble saying it.”

American Airlines is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to run full-page, two-sided, glossy adverts in newspapers. But nobody is looking at them.

That’s because their ads refer to a ton of different things at once, making the story difficult to understand. And the layout doesn’t help either; if anything, it only makes the message blurrier.

The American Airlines ad is exactly what Cossette was talking about: it’s the type of advert that would work as well (or as bad depending on how you look at it) for any other brand or product.

Such ads won’t be remembered. They’re confusing so its message won’t stick. And they’re boring so our brains will automatically ignore them.

Luckily, there’s a simple test to make sure your advertising is not like that of American Airlines. Just answer this question: “If you substitute one company for another, does the ad still make sense?”. Only if the answer is no, your ad is truly different. And being different is just step one. From there, the next step is to develop it into a truly Great Ad.

And if you’re not sure how one would go about creating interesting ads for an airline, take a look at Virgin Atlantic’s work of ‘Let It Fly’.



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