Substance is better than style

More and more, we are a society of flash.  We love Lady Gaga, the Kardashians, and “Celebrity Rehab.” We are drawn to the things that are outrageous.  Sure, it may be fun to watch “Jersey Shore” for entertainment, but when you think about it, what is the show really about?

Trust me?

Imagine for a moment you are a client looking for a PR firm to manage the launch of your new product. Firm “A” comes in with a solid strategic plan, including a global media pitch and social media outreach.  They’ve really crossed the “T’s” and dotted the “I’s.” Firm “B” comes in and wants to put a billboard of your product on I-95, downtown Los Angeles, Times Square, and have Kim Kardashian be the spokesperson.  Which one would you pick (honestly)?


Despite the flash and dash in today’s society, it’s still important to look at the substance behind everything.  Yes, clients want to see results and in some cases, they don’t care how you get them.  The good ones, though, will appreciate a well-thought out, solid campaign for their company/brand.

Case in point, Pepsi’s Refresh Project.  The initiative encouraged people to vote on the best cause marketing idea, with Pepsi giving away millions in grants each month.  It has been a huge success.  That, to me, is the perfect substance over style example.

Keep in mind, while the style may win you that instant gratification; the substance probably will gain you loyal brand champions for a longer period of time.

Is it better to go with substance over style? Discuss in the comments section.


About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on March 1, 2011, in Hot Topic, Marketing, Public Relations, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great post Jason! I think a lot of people would take the glam over the solid campaign, only because it has a celebrity tied in with it. Personally, I am more for a solid campaign over a celebrity endorsing the brand. I also agree that Pepsi has been doing an amazing job with the refresh project! 🙂

  2. Wow, you hit the nail on the head with this post. In our reality-television obsessed, fast-paced society, we are always looking for instant gratification. We want the outrageous idea that is celebrity-endorsed that will give us millions of impressions quickly. But in reality, those “style” campaigns may provide lots of impressions in the short-term, but they will result in few calls-to-action. It’s like the whole popular v. influence debate. A Kim Kardashian campaign may sound good, but does it really make sense if your target audience is the healthcare or automotive industry. Probably not.

    So, I would rather see a through campaign with lots of substance than a highly sensational campaign that will only net short-term impressions with few calls-to-action.

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