“There Are No Boring Brands, Just Boring Marketers”: Carolyn Miller

“There Are No Boring Brands, Just Boring Marketers”: Carolyn Miller

Fun is risky and brands don’t believe they have the opportunity to be fun in their marketing. This is a lie, says media commentator and Gruen Transfer panellist, Carolyn Miller.

Marketers approach marketing from all different angles. Miller believes brands should think about their marketing, specifically experiential events, with a sense of humour.

“There’s no boring brands, just boring marketers,” she said. “It’s all about the way you approach it. Particularly if you approach it with a sense of humour.”

Experiential events are becoming a core part of the marketing mix. “We’ve seen a big explosion in seeing how important experiential experiences are for customers,” saidMiller. “But more importantly than that, we know that word-of-mouth is driven up to 80% by actual experience with brands.”

And what better way to get people talking about your brand than having something fun and exciting they can interact with?

“It’s one of the things I’ll lament,” she said. “Brands believe that they don’t have an opportunity to be fun. And that’s a lie,” she said “Brands do have an opportunity to be fun and you want people to be having positive engagement with them.”

Being a bit fun with your brand often comes with risks though.

“There’s a worry that it can be misinterpreted, or that it’s not going to be taken seriously and there is a fine line to tread, there’s a lot of political correctness that comes into it.”

She says a brand having a bit of fun with their event and products is more challenging than just doing the normal professional product overview a brand would execute with a new product.

“It’s often how events are really mapped out though,” she added. “You’ve got to look at the role of what your brand territory is and really the space within that, you should stretch the limits.”

One brand that hits a sweet spot with Miller is sport brand Adidas.

“They do these really big shoeboxes as their experiential space you can walk into,” Miller explained. “I don’t know why I love the idea of that, but it’s a gorgeous use of the brand and you feel a bit Willy Wonka-ish.

“Even just doing things that make things bigger can be really really good fun.”

Once a brand has decided on the particular type of event it wants to have a play around with, the thought process shouldn’t stop there.

“Marketers have to be very savvy in not just looking at things in isolation, but actually looking at how to make them live on,” stresses Miller.

“It’s funny, because it seems like such an obvious thing to say, but I come across it so frequently where people just get so bogged down in the one project they’re working on and they really don’t think about how it can be so much bigger by looking at the rest of the tactics they can pull around it.

“With some agencies, there’s a lot of strategy put into the idea of the event, and then tacked on ideas like how they would make it look through Twitter and Facebook. But they don’t look at it more as a living on past the campaign.”

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Advertising Standards Bureau Lauren Joyce

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