I saw a workshop structure recently from a creative agency.
It was nice and simple which was a good start.
The premise was based on the accepted wisdom that people don’t respond to advertising anymore. Let’s gloss over that shall we?
On one hand, the argument went, we’re seeing brands grandstanding – you know, big event advertising that grabs the attention like it or not.
Like what Sony seem to be doing with colour again, all these years after they gave up trying to replicate balls. Or the Cadbury Gorilla.
Both pieces of advertising worked of course, that’s why folks in marketing go on about them now. At least Sony is based on a product truth, although any brand could talk about the colour quality of their telly. Cadbury was about making people feel the brand benefit…joy, but I doubt anyone understood this apart from the folks who had to write the awards.
On the other hand, we’re seeing brands going all ‘native’. Busy infiltrating editorial, getting into the timeline without getting noticed too much…and therefore, not really being remembered too much. So the workshop structure was based on marrying what the brand was about to what people care about….getting noticed but in way people would be bothered about.
Are we really in a world when it’s a proprietary process to make sure you convey something about the brand but reward the audience in some way? When did repackaging common sense become so pervasive? You’ll get ‘talking head’ planners in the press talking about ‘adding to what folks care about’. Too right.
That shouldn’t be news. This is not innovative thinking.
Surely. It should be standard that if you’re doing a sponsorship of football, make sure you’re adding to the experience of football. I you’re paying to reach people on Facebook, respect and add to that context.
If you’re interrupting peoples’ evening telly with an ad, make it worthwhile. That starts with admitting you’re selling something and then making it rewarding enough to appreciate the experience.
Yes, sometimes infiltrating the culture is the right thing to do. But really, it’s about infiltrating the heart to infiltrate the head. So often, common sense gets maligned in the service of a soundbite. Right now, folks are publicly disagreeing with lots of Byron Sharpe stuff. Which is great, received wisdom is the enemy.
But not when it’s based on twisting the words, or even worse, just not getting it. For example, I read about a war between Sharpe’s arguments for ‘salience’ v ‘brand love’. The premise was that salience is simply getting noticed through populism and getting noticed, being distinctive, ‘grandstanding’.
When Sharpe himself has shown that salience is about getting in the head in as many reasons to buy the category as you can. It’s just that you don’t get in the head if you don’t get noticed, and you don’t get in the head if you don’t activate the emotions, which get recalled for longer.
It’s just that love is a crap catch all for being remembered for provoking an emotional reaction that is relevant for what the business needs to achieve.
One thing I don’t agree with Mr Sharpe is this…. He reckons folks can’t tell you why the brands they buy are different. Too right. I can’t tell you why my wife is different, but she leaves a precise emotional imprint on me that feels like no one else. Nike feels different to Adidas, even if few people can say quite how or why.
Ladies and gents, I give you the dear departed David Abbot. The best copywriter who said, ‘Say something about the product in a way that cannot be missed’.
Sometimes you’re task is to be more in tune with the lives of your buyers. Sometimes you’re task is to educate them. Sometimes your task is to get as many people talking about you as you can. But it’s always to create an intangible feeling and be relevant.
Common sense never goes out of fashion.