Experts have long questioned the need for expensive ads. Ogilvy said, “I have no research to prove it, but I suspect that there is a negative relationship between the money spent on commercials and their power to sell products.” [More) The emphasis on the technical quality of the ads is often expensive and it distracts from the advertisers’ efforts to persuade. Impressive technical qualities divert viewers’ attention from the story to the wizardry. Evidence in Persuasive Advertising (e.g., p. 238) supports Ogilvy.
A recurrent theme in the advertising principles is to do nothing that distracts from a strong message. For an example, consider a leading candidate for the Best Documentary film of 2012, Searching for Sugar Man . It was written, directed, and filmed by a young Swedish man who had no budget and no crew. He did much of the filming with an iPhone. Nothing distracts from the message.