In this guest post, Brett Dawson (main photo), CEO at M&C Saatchi’s media arm Bohemia, says there are so many ways to tell a brand’s message these days that both media and creative agencies need to sit up and take notice…
We had a massive Easter weekend at our place. Friends visiting from the south coast, lots of food, too much booze, swimming, board games, listening to tunes, laughter and over indulgence of chocolate.
This Tuesday afternoon, now back at work, I find myself reflecting not just on the weekend, but the stories shared of said weekend. When sharing with parents, or other friends, or work leadership teams or work colleagues or clients, the response to ‘how was your weekend’ had a tweaked response dependent on the audience. Sure, the essence was the same but the tone and features differed by audience.
Same weekend, just an adjusted narrative to ensure connection with the audience is achieved at the appropriate level.
It got me thinking, just how similar this is to effectively land a big campaign in today’s world.
In the years past, marketers sought big brand platforms, distributed across multi-channels, with consistent assets (matching luggage) to drive recognition and linkage scores. They looked at media to provide the reach and cross channel multiplier to the singular creative idea, charged with all the heavy lifting. The same story was told along the customer journey, getting squeezed into smaller placements along the stages.
This passive, broadcast, one size fits all approach has become less effective year after year and fails to take advantage of the active, connected media landscape of today.
Data, technology and the creativity of people can now combine to create the context to have a tailored conversation. Same brand, same brand platform, same campaign, just told in a unique way to ensure connection is achieved.
It’s like a new layer of creativity now exists, one that demands more focus from both media and creative departments. Sure we need to embrace machines and algorithms, in addition we need to focus our creative talents at this new creative potential.
The potential of this new layer goes well beyond ‘dynamic creative’, where modular ads are created at page load speed based on a few, mostly cookie based data points. It’s about exploiting this new creative opportunity. Getting creative applications to catch up to the new creative potential this new layer presents us with.
I don’t believe this replaces the role of or need for a big brand platform. If anything it requires bigger, more unifying platform ideas. What it does allow for is creative application of the platform to ensure it lands in a way that’s both suitable for the context it’s placed in and tweaked to connect with the customer or potential customer who is receiving it.
Sure it takes more time. It’s a lot of decision trees, multiple scenario plans that think through multiple segments and contexts in which the brand platform will land in. It’s about pushing technology and each media channel to it’s full creative potential, whilst leveraging relevant data points to increase receptivity, earn attention and ultimately connect in a way that delivers the commercial outcome you seek.
The new layer of creative application is here. The need to design how an idea nuances across multiple channels and across multiple audiences. It’s media planning, meets creative planning, meets content planning and, call me biased but, I believe it’s best served in an integrated agency model. It’s full of creative opportunity and it’s now how you tie creativity to outcomes.
So next time someone asks you how your weekend was, and you tweak your response depending on your audience, ask yourself if your campaign can connect like you do.
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