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Ads With Attitude Can you afford to use anti-advertising?

By Karen Axelton

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What's with these ads, anyway? You know the ones.The Sprite commercials that say, "Trust your taste buds, notcommercials." The Miller Lite ads that poke fun at "ourcreative genius, Dick." Or those Levi's ads that, well,don't act like ads at all.

Dubbed "anti-advertising," the trend is hot--but doesit work? "If your goal is to catch people's attention, itworks," says Michael Kamins, associate professor of marketingat the University of Southern California's Marshall School ofBusiness in Los Angeles. "But if your goal is to sell,it's not going to work."

Matthew McAllister, associate professor of com-municationstudies at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, saysanti-ads' strength is in creating an image. As such, they workbest for products aimed at the image-conscious youth marketand for products with little difference between brands.

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