What Advertising Can and Cannot Do

Paul C. Harper

Ladies and gentlemen, to try to cover the subject “What Advertising Can and Cannot Do” in 18 minutes is quite an assignment, so I will plunge right into it.

It is no secret that advertising is only part of a wide range of things that helps to move goods and services – all of which must be working in concert.

It is no secret furthermore that the marketing mix varies depending on what product or service you are selling, with advertising playing everything from a dominant role to a mere sales aid. About all I can hope to do in the next few minutes is to remind you of certain universals, without which advertising simply cannot work at all, or without which it will not work at its best.

Advertising is in a way the most fragile and difficult part to manage of the entire marketing mix: This is because despite all the science available, it is still difficult to establish a direct link between sales and most forms of national advertising. But what we do know is that advertising has to have everything going for it to pay off.