Dollar Store Advertising

The whole dollar store phenomenon kind of intrigues me. Americans, being able to buy everything from food to pans to plastic ware to paper goods and tools for a buck. It is the ultimate representation of globalization and commoditization, the twin horsemen of the apocalypse and the kind of competition that American business people face every day in so many industries. Manufacturing in China, call centers in India (I just got off the phone with a service rep, with a distinguishable Indian accent, whose name was Austin), Search Engine Optimization firms and web designers in the Phillipines, accountant support services,  X-ray and pap smear readers in who knows where.

I guess some of these things make great sense and some I’m not so sure.  It is not that globalization and commoditization are not valid trends. Keeping costs down and making commodities more readily available are inherently positive things that have been a force in commerce for thousands of years and best exemplified by Henry Ford’s first mass produced automobiles.

The real test of what should be acceptable is a balanced appraisal of what really is a commodity item, where does quality matter, how can the product or service produce the best result. Not every item in the dollar store performs properly, is safe and has an attractive look or the proper feel that encourages use.

Advertising is the same way. When DDA creates a website design, or a custom programming application like a CRM or Intranet, when DDA CMT creates a CME (continuing medical education) medical training tool for physician education, when DDA Video writes a script and casts an actor for a commercial or medical or corporate video, or when DDA strategizes, designs and produces a direct mail campaign – art, science, demographic information, advertising psychology, color theory and science, marketing acumen, knowledge of the American end user or consumer and common sense come together to create advertising, marketing and educational tools that interact in complex and meaningful ways with human beings who function and make decisions visually, emotionally and often instantaneously.

Perhaps, that kind of advertising is best not bought at the dollar store!