By Guest Contributor Dan White
The following framework is helpful when assessing the potential of creative ideas:
Striking a chord with the audience is paramount. People understand and identify with the best ideas effortlessly. Creating an emotional connection means people will remember the communications and see the brand in a positive light.
A ROLE FOR THE BRAND
Some communications ideas fail because people find them hard to connect with the brand. The brand should be so central to the idea that when people describe the idea, they naturally refer to the brand. The brand purpose, if there is one, usually provides the connection between the brand and the idea.
The idea should evoke the kind of associations desired for the brand. For example, advertising for Snuggle fabric softener for many years featured an animated teddy bear who loved cosying up to fresh laundry and this connected the brand to the concepts of softness and family loving care.
A distinctive asset is anything associated with the brand in people’s minds and not associated with other brands. These could be visuals, sounds, words, phrases, personalities or characters. The Nike ‘swoosh’ and ‘Just Do It’ slogan are two examples. Once established, featuring distinctive assets in communications will help bring the brand to mind when the communications are experienced. This helps the formation of new associations or the reinforcement of existing ones.
The impact of a campaign can be greatly magnified if it is socially relevant. The #likeagirl campaign by sanitary products brand Always encouraged people to reflect on how using the phrase derogatively could damage girls’ self-confidence. The campaign generated lots of media attention, became a hot topic on social media (177,000 tweets featuring the hashtag in three months) and had a phenomenal impact on sales.
A sure sign that an idea has potential is if the team can easily find lots of ways of bringing the idea to life across different channels. Some of the most effective campaigns have even inspired brand fans to create their own iterations or parodies. Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign prompted the sharing of hundreds of thousands of pictures showing Coke bottles spelling out witty phrases – and even one or two marriage proposals.
Communications ideas should be universal enough to work across different media and cultures. If an idea is so rigid and specific that it only works in one channel, it probably isn’t a big enough idea to be compelling for the audience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan White is a marketing connoisseur, established thought leader and independent brand consultant. He carries a 25-year career as CMO and methodology specialist within the Insights division of Kantar. Dan is British and lives in Warwickshire, UK.
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