By Deborah Wroe

In the last month or so, my Facebook feed had a fair few football status updates, vying for attention between the, ‘Long day…need a drink’ and the Facebook Places updates like, ‘I am at the Ivy with David Beckham’ (or I am at B&Q with husband and kids!). I caught the words Manchester, football, red, blue, Wembley and some insults, all of which became a blur to me. Then I learned that what they were all telling me and others is that there were some big matches coming up for local teams, Manchester United and Manchester City. Now you may have guessed…I am not renowned for my football knowledge, though I genuinely can explain the offside rule – without the need for salt and pepper pots and a sauce bottle, and I do now have a fondness for Latics after our Twestival Oldham at Boundary Park.

Anyway, my point in all this, is that if you read certain triggers words, or see certain images, or hear certain sounds, you can automatically switch off and the message is lost, for me that was football (though after being bombarded the penny finally dropped). Not that anyone was necessarily trying to tell me directly about football on Facebook, they were talking to fellow football fans and predicting outcomes and arguing…but the cut through principle applies in advertising and marketing.

TV adverts still employ the annoyance factor, GoCompare, Webuyanycar.com, and for me those excruciating Direct Line ads, but, these trigger words and sounds do eventually filter through to your subconscious and register the brand or product. Personally I would like to see a more sophisticated approach to TV advertising rather than a ‘brilliant, this will definitely annoy people’ ploy. But what matters is Return on Investment (ROI). A creative team or external agency brought on board to increase sales over a short period may only be concerned about short term goals, quick wins, and short term profits. And that annoyance factor tactic clearly delivers results.

However, would you be proud to work for the company whose adverts drive people to distraction? OR, would you rather adopt a more sophisticated approach to your advertising that stands out for being clever, funny, to the point, or solely based on being a cracking product. I personally love the Plusnet Broadband TV ad. I like the straight-talking Yorkshire man, the simple concept, the simple ad, and how it gets the point across in an effective, memorable and distinctly un-annoying way. Hats off to the company behind that one.