Advocacy Advertising … 6 Tips on How to Employ in Marketing Campaigns

I am not a fan of ballet. How about you? Not to worry, though, this blog is not about ballet. It is about a ballet star named Misty Copeland, who appears in advocacy advertising for an Under Armour marketing campaign.
advocacy advertising
                 Advocacy advertising
You just can’t say it. You have to get people talking about it with each other.
Check out our thoughts on creative marketing.
It is a simple concept. People don’t read ads, they read what interests them. So if you are going to generate advertising and design, you are going to have to create interesting copy.
See our article:  A How-To Guidebook for Creating Winning Advertising
And, oh by the way, it must be more interesting than the millions of other advertisements out there. Now that is a daunting task, isn’t it? Under Armour marketing has sought to overcome this dilemma with advocacy advertising as its power of persuasion.
So what is advocacy advertising? It is a specific type of advertising that intends to promote a particular idea related to public discourse, viewpoints, and causes. This is in contrast to typical ads which intend to promote a product or a service.
 And what is the subject of public issue that Under Armour wants to promote? It is an issue with a simple motivational message. The message? It is to be persistent and never give up.
Misty Copeland is only the third African American female soloist ever to dance for the American Ballet Theatre. But her route to the top was anything but an easy one. She only danced ballet for the first time at the age of 13, a full eight years later than most ballet pros start training.
And when she started to grow into a woman, she developed muscle tone, large breasts, and big feet. This is not exactly the accepted shape for a ballerina.
However, her refusal to give up on her dream is celebrated in this awesome new campaign. This campaign is for the sports brand Under Armour and is called ‘I Will What I Want’.
Have you seen this commercial? If not, take the 60 seconds to review it. It will certainly create a topic of discussion for you and your friends. That is certainly Under Armour’s objective, isn’t it?
As the dancer shows off her breath-taking strength, a voice-over reads out lines from all the rejection letters she received as a teen.
Those academies probably aren’t feeling so clever now. You can’t help but feel inspired and motivated by the spot.
Refusing to give up, Copeland became the second black soloist in the history of the prestigious American Ballet Theatre in N.Y.C. Amazing, isn’t it?
It made her the perfect subject to deliver the “I Will What I Want” campaign’s message of persistence. She was only 24 at the time.
Let’s discuss this very successful advocacy ad and the reasons for its success.

Advocacy advertising … customer personalization 

This ad uses a very personal message to engage potential customers. A personal story of the long shot always makes for great attention getting, doesn’t it?
Hearing real letters of rejection and then showing off Misty’s talent has a way of adding significant meaning.


emotional connection
Get mileage from emotional connection.

Advocacy advertising campaign … emotional connection

A good emotional story provides very good connection between the issue and the company promoting their message. The ad does not interpret or explain the action in the story for the audience.
Instead, it allows each member of the audience to interpret the story as he or she understands the action and the emotion.
This is why people find good stories so appealing. It is why they find advertising that simply conveys information boring.
Experiences that trigger our emotions are saved and consolidated in lasting memory. Why is that?
Because the emotions generated by the experiences signal our brains that they are important to remember. And create a good reason for you to want to back Under Armour, yes?


Cause related advertising … motivational messages

Making powerful motivational messages to your target audience, as in this ad, is very effective. It gets the viewer to relate to the issue in their own life and to be inspired.
So simple that the reader will quickly grasp the motivation. Keep in mind that pictures are far more valuable than words.
Using simple messages complemented with powerful visuals adds more to the ad. Employ easy arguments.
Easy arguments are the conclusions people reach using inferences without the need of a careful review of available information.


visual attention
       Grab the visual attention.

Appeal and visual attention

Creating visual appeal of Misty’s awesome ballet talents grabs and hold consumer attention. The ad is interesting as well as entertaining.       


Identifiable music

This ad combines the beauty of watching talent with what they hear. People expect and prefer coordinated audio and visual messages. Why you may be wondering?
Because those messages are easier to process and understand. Music can be a rapidly identified cue for the recall of emotional responses remembered from previous advertising.
The music in this ad is an identifiable emotional addition to the persuasive power, isn’t it?


Call to action

A simple call to action is needed on all ads. In the case of an advocacy ad, the call to action is in the subtle messages of inspiration and motivation.
It is not a call to action for Under Armour and it doesn’t have to be. People will remember the brand and associate it with the inspiration they take away. And that is not a bad thing, is it?
Say exactly why people should contact your business and what you can do for them.
For example “Let’s prepare today to do what we love tomorrow”.
All three of these ads make the desired call to action a part of the story.


 The bottom line 

So if you remember one thing from this article, remember this:
Marketing or advertising, you need to create information that your customers find interesting and worth talking about and remembering. And stand for things that potential customers value.
 We believe this Under Armour advocacy ad is interesting, entertaining, and stands for things viewers can stand behind. We believe it is persuasive and certainly creates the right kind of conversation.
What do you think?



build value proposition
                           Does your business have a winning value proposition?
Have any advertising experience that you would like to add to this community? Any comments or questions you like to add below?
 So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you. But believe in the effectiveness of word of mouth marketing. And put it to good use.
It’s up to you to keep improving your creative marketing efforts. Lessons are all around you. In this case, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.
When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.
Need some help in capturing more customers from your advertising? Creative ideas to help the differentiation with your customers?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Are you devoting enough energy improving your advertising design?
Do you have a lesson about making your innovation  better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn.  
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
More reading on advertising from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:
 A How-To Guidebook for Creating Winning Advertising
Brillinat Advertisements to Rise Above the Noise
The State Farm ‘Jake’ Commercial … No Art of Persuasion
Mike Schoultz is a digital marketing and customer service expert. With 48 years of business experience, he consults on and writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+FacebookTwitter, Digital Spark Marketing, and LinkedIn.
Advocacy Advertising … 6 Tips on How to Employ in Marketing Campaigns