To say that people hate advertisements is a vast overstatement.
The truth is that most people just don´t care about them. Most advertising is just interruption at best and invisible at worst. Occassionally some good piece of communication fells through the cracks and people start talking about them. Those ads have made the giant leap from ads to entertainment.
What combines these highly succesful, innovative and effective ads? Where you push button to add drama? Where Eminem drives Chrysler in Detroit? Where you start thinking about the benefits of birth-control? Or where hamsters jam to the sounds of nineties hiphop in Hamsterdam?
They are all popular.
People do not even judge these ads in same category as your everyday washing liquid infomercial. They are entertainment. People do not talk about how the ad skillfully manifests the strategy and touches the nerve of certain target demography. Or how it really captures effectively the brand´s tone-of-voice, communication ladder and is on brief. They talk about funny ads, emotional ads, witty ads. Even really shit ads. They talk about work which stands out of the pack and makes them feel or act.
When you say that you work in advertising, people usually start to talk about ads to you. Usually they mock the horrible ads which have been repeated until the boredom. However, the best feeling is when person starts talking about ad that has touched him or her. And you realize you have been doing that particular piece of communication.
Even though people seldom talk about ads in watercooler, it does not mean that ads do not belong there. After all, we are working in the only creative field which should be populist by nature. There is no underground culture in advertising. Even with smaller demographics, we are still talking about mainstream-size audiences. So as we advertisers drink from the well of popular culture, we should also make sure that we do not piss in it as well.
That is why the role of advertisement is simple:
Advertising should make brands popular.
Relevant popularity or even outright populism includes all the relevant definitions of the advertising. It lowers the cost of selling. It makes the product desirable. It gets recommended. It differentiates. It wins awards. It sells. It strengthens the brand.
To make people talk about your brand, product or advertisement you have to think in terms of entertaining. Entertaining is the hardest but the most satisfying job in the world. Are we able to take the task? And make entertainment that urges people to action.
You have to make your advertising a hot topic around the watercooler.