Advertising – cruel mistress or life companion?

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does”, this has to be my favorite advertising related quote and it belongs to Stuart H Britt. Looking at how many books about marketing and consumer behavior he wrote I am sure he knows what is talking about. And let’s face it, it is also true!


When you have a baby you are so proud of him, you love him and want the best for him. You tell all your friends about how smart and beautiful he is, you put pictures on Facebook, tell everyone about his first step and first words. Imagine the baby is your business and all those things above are actually advertising. You create an image that make people interested, a brand people can relate to and also like, desire and need.

Advertising is not just about million dollars campaign by Nike and Pepsi where you get 10-15 famous football players, pay them 2-3 million per year and create video and photo frenzy. This is the “cruel mistress” face of advertising, you are a big brand and you have to invest more than the competition so that people see you out there, you have a presence and your actions get you the brand recognition. Advertising is a cruel mistress in this case because you pay a lot of money for a beautiful partner at the gala but as soon as you stop giving her expensive gifts she leaves. When you have 30% market share you pay more for that companion to keep you at 30% than for gaining one more percent.

Advertising is also about presenting your business on a daily basis, in networking events, in meetings and in your communities. Displaying your fruits and vegetables on a stand in the market and writing on a piece of paper 3 for the price of 2 is also advertising. When you do small things like this every day this is when advertising becomes a partner, a life companion. Think about your relationship at home, if one day you decide to ignore your partner maybe it will be still ok but when you ignore it for a while usually it turns into a bad situation. Picking this face of advertising you decide together the budget, you are understood and get lenience when in need.

Working for the last 4 years in this beautiful but terrifying industry we call advertising I was sometimes amazed looking at campaigns approved by marketing departments. You have a budget, sometimes a very good one, and you create an advertising campaign just for money sake? Things can be done with less money and bigger impact mostly all of the time but when you also have the money you should really use it wise. It is easy for a creative in an agency to put a nice picture and add the fact that you have great prices but how many times do we buy because we found the smallest price?

Great advertising makes you try a new thing, it makes you go to a place you don’t know and give it a try and it makes you pay 20% more for a t-shirt because it’s that brand you love. Sometimes it makes you go to McDonalds and try the Romanian week’s products just because some guy in a commercial said they are like a rainbow on your pallet. The true mission of advertising is this: make you go out of your comfort zone and say why not.

We all here also very often that there is no such thing as bad publicity, it is important that people hear your name. I have to disagree with this. Imagine for an instant you see an article in the newspaper or a friend tells you that they found a bug in their food at some restaurant, or some store attendants are rude to their customers, will you still go there? Negative advertising is a dangerous tool and I don’t recommend it to anyone. Yes it is true bad news spreads quicker and more than good news and more people will hear the name of your business. But unless you have a complex plan and the solution to wash away that impression avoid any bad things attached to your brand.

In the end imagine this: advertising is a beautiful, sexy, smart and elegant woman. You can choose the easy way, impress her with your BMW, expensive dinners and gifts and risk losing her at the first sign of budget cuts. The second path is prove to her you are an intelligent, sophisticated, ambitious and driven businessman thus making her become that faithful life companion you need in this “urban jungle” we call the business world.


Mihai Chiratcu is an opportunity creator, trainer and free man. After 10 years experience in sales and business development, he is using the knowledge gathered trying to bring a new approach in training and business consultancy. He brings you every Thursday special information and gives advices through the section “Business Opinions”. For more information, you can find Mihai on


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