Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Totally brandom ideas


Why would I listen to a shrimp sandwich, or buy insurance from a talking bear, or deodorant from a guy on a horse? Rubbish. Amirite? 

If you're nodding your head in agreement right now, you clearly don't get it. Sorry, but these  commercials with random ideas are exactly what advertising should be. 

I can picture the advertising purists, of the Rosser Reeves ilk, watching them in contempt. Wondering, how is this going to sell products? 

Where's the unique selling proposition? Where's the persuasion?

I can also picture potential customers watching it on TV, with their perfectly rational mind ticking over, shaking their heads at the absurdity... and smiling. 


Lucky for us, advertising is not a sales pitch. Sales pitches are for salesman not advertisers. 

Advertising is about memory. Its role is to make a brand mentally available to potential buyers, so next buying occasion they remember them. 

For this to happen, commercials need to firstly get noticed, and secondly refresh and build its distinct branding assets in the audience's minds and achieve salience. 

This is precisely what these types of spots achieve. The randomness achieves cut-through (noticeability) and, at the same time, they are well branded (memorability).

What they are not doing is bludgeoning the audience with a blunt unique selling proposition in a vain attempt to differentiate its brand - crisper taste, softest tissue etc. 

It's a case of irrational distinction trouncing rational differentiation. Or as Eaon Pritchard put it, meaningless distinctiveness over meaningful differentiation. 

MailChimp, Geico, Old Spice and, getting closer to home, Aldi, need to be commended for trusting their agency to go in the direction of this brave new world. 

A world that puts cut-through ahead of a rational message. And even puts like-ability before a message, which is the final ingredient along with noticeability and memorability to create great advertising. 

I call the phenomena 'brandom ideas', and we should be excited, because more executions like these are coming and they're brilliant, creatively and strategically. 

Christopher Ott

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