Says Frank Underwood, "You can't turn a 'no' into a 'yes' without a 'maybe' first". When your strategy is aiming to turn a non-buyer into a buyer; advertising is the 'maybe'.
There's an endemic belief that, as Ogilvy said, "advertising is selling". Even our vernacular - USP, reason-why - stems from the idea that "advertising is salesmanship in print". But it's (largely) not.
Arguably advertising's role is to make brands mentally available. For this, our ads need to get noticed; then become salient in our audience's minds so they're remembered when it counts - in a buying situation.
Irrespective of the lag between ad and checkout. Whether it be a few clicks and a couple seconds, or a whole week when you next pay a visit to the shops, advertising is the seduction not the selling. The taste, not the transaction. It's the 'maybe', not the 'yes'.
The immortal Stephen King even knew the importance of Frank's 'maybe', when he stated: "advertising isn't about sales, as much as saleability".
In other words, advertising works best as a nudge (a maybe), not a shove (a yes).