Friday, 25 October 2013

Active Participation

Stephen King, the guy who started planning at JWT, believed that all good advertising left gaps that people could fill in for themselves. He believed that when people did not have to work a little to understand communications, they would never care about or remember it:

"We often hear and understand what is said to us and can remember it later, but take no notice of it. It is only when we ACTIVELY consider what is said and adopt it as our own view that we have really responded.

"This means that the most successful communication is one that leaves room for active participation by the receiver; it works as much by what it leaves out as what it puts in. Jokes, for example, work by being implicit rather than explicit. Our comedian, if he had succeeded by telling a joke, could then have destroyed it by explaining it."

He goes to write,

"what advertising has to do is entice people into sharing a point of view and contributing their own interpretation - not bully them into acquiescence. Buyers are free agents, not recruits in a platoon of marines."

Thursday, 10 October 2013

No one cares

This from a recent article in Contagious shows how little people care about brands. It is something to keep in mind when discussing minute detail about branding. Unless you are Amazon, your consumer probably doesn't care whether you exist.

"According to Havas' 2013 Meaningful Brands survey, most people around the world wouldn't care if 73% of brands disappeared overnight. Across the US and Europe that proportion is a massive 92%."

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Lighthouse Identity

A nice excerpt from EATING THE BIG FISH, which Russell Davies has called one of the two essential books for our trade (the other being Jon Steel's TRUTH, LIES AND ADVERTISING).

"Success as a Challenger comes through developing a very clear sense of who or what you are as a brand/business and why—and then projecting that identity intensely, consistently, and saliently to the point where, like a lighthouse, consumers notice you (and know where you stand) even if they are not looking for you."

With a lot of evidence suggesting that successful brands should focus on getting noticed - and not on objectives like increasing loyalty or building relevance - the analogy of a good brand being like a lighthouse works well. 

So, build a brand that people can't miss and can't help but notice.