Not every ad fits neatly into the categories of rational or emotional appeals. For example, ads for some brands can be classified as reminder advertising, which has the objective of building brand awareness and/or keeping the brand name in front of consumers. Well-known brands and market leaders often use reminder advertising. For example, Altoids breath mints runs reminder ads to build national brand awareness and communicate its quirky “curiously strong” message to consumers. Products and services that have a seasonal pattern to their consumption also use reminder advertising, particularly around the appropriate period. For example, marketers of candy products often increase their media budgets and run reminder advertising around Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Easter.
Advertisers introducing a new product often use teaser advertising, which is designed to build curiosity, interest, and/or excitement about a product or brand by talking about it but not actually showing it. Teasers, or mystery ads as they are sometimes called, are also used by marketers to draw attention to upcoming advertising campaigns and generate interest and publicity for them. For example, Lee Jeans used teaser ads as part of its successful “Can’t bust ’em” campaign for its new Dungarees line that features the Buddy Lee doll.
The denim-dressed doll, which was used in Lee’s promotional displays from the 1920s through the 50s, was brought back and billed as a “Man of Action.” Lee’s agency, Fallon McElligott, introduced Buddy with a “phantom campaign” designed to intrigue influential trendsetters among the 17- to 22-year-old target market. Posters of Buddy Lee, unidentified and unbranded, were wild-posted in “cool” areas of 15 markets to generate curiosity. The agency then produced a six-minute film, The Buddy Lee Story, that was run on “graveyard cable,” 2 A.M. slots on Comedy Central and other cable channels. Again, the product was never mentioned, but the film did associate Buddy with the Lee Company and its “Can’t bust ’em” spirit.
The goal of the teaser campaign was to let the trendsetters discover Buddy and spread the news about him. The teaser campaign was successful in generating word of mouth and helped accelerate the popularity of the brand as subsequent advertising featuring Buddy hawking the Dungarees line was introduced. The campaign helped make initial sales of the Dungarees line four times higher than anticipated and resulted in a 3 percent increase in market share for Lee even though overall denim sales were flat. Teaser ads are often used for new movies or TV shows and for major product
launches. They are especially popular among automotive advertisers for introducing a new model or announcing significant changes in a vehicle. For example, Porsche used teaser ads to generate interest in and excitement for the Cayenne SUV when it was introduced to the U.S. market (Exhibit 9-11). The ads used the theme “The next Porsche” and were part of an integrated campaign that included a website telling the story of the new Cayenne, from development through testing to its unveiling in fall 2002.
Teaser campaigns can generate interest in a new product, but advertisers must be careful not to extend them too long or they will lose their effectiveness. Many advertising experts thought the teaser campaign used by Infiniti to introduce its cars to the U.S. market in 1989 ran too long and created confusion among consumers. As one advertising executive says, “Contrary to what we think, consumers don’t hold seminars about advertising. You have to give consumers enough information about the product in teaser ads to make them feel they’re in on the joke.” Many ads are not designed to sell a product or service but rather to enhance the image of the company or meet other corporate goals such as soliciting investment or recruiting employees.