want you to imagine I am telling you the story of Goldilocks and the
three bears. In your head, run it through. Picture all the details, the
twists and turns and the big ending.
Right, now take the same
story and tell it in half the time. Now halve the time again. And again.
Eventually, your story would be something like Girl, bear and porridge.
This process happens in advertising a lot these days. You only have to
look at the vast majority of advertising to see this. There is a
reduction of elements which is why so much online advertising looks like
1950's print ads. A visual, a headline, a payoff line.
What this often leads to is information with no emotion. We know from
the studies of Les Binet and Peter Field this is not the way forward.
So, that's a problem. However, a far larger problem is that the kind of
ideas that are now being made are often selected on flexibility rather
The only thing in advertising that is worse than being invisible is being invisible everywhere.
criteria for how a great idea is chosen today is often about how many
hats it can wear rather than its impact as a single form of
In essence, an integrated campaign today seems to
be far more about counting impressions as opposed to making one. I would
say that when measurement becomes more important than what is being
measured there is a problem.
An integrated campaign, was always
supposed to be multiple elements that worked together. It is supposed to
be many Lego blocks that build something bigger and better. It was
never supposed to be every Lego block and more importantly, it was never
supposed to be one Lego block sliced to within an inch of its life.
Today, integrated campaigns as a concept are often replaced with a
single asset chopped up to be spread across as many communication
channels as possible. Every time I go to a conference, there is somebody
saying you shouldn't just put your television ad online. Well, go
online and tell me what most brands are doing.
There are many
reasons for this happening. A budget that has not grown while the amount
of communication channels has. A lazy agency or marketer. The inability
to think long term. The lack of a brand platform that allows you to
have multiple executions that are relevant to their channels yet all
contribute to the same idea. These reasons and many others have resulted
in this now often being a blueprint for a modern campaign.
you can see the ramifications of this when you look at portfolios of
advertising students. You see an average idea repeated across multiple
channels with very little thinking about each channel or how the
separate assets work together. And the students always say the same
thing. You see it's a great idea, it works everywhere. This is learnt
behaviour and they are learning it from our industry. They are learning,
incorrectly, that picture frames are more important and valuable than
I think we as an industry must be very careful that
our quest for flexibility and pragmatism don't lead us down a road of
We need to remember being everywhere, averagely, is just another way of saying you are nowhere.
have never needed brilliance in our industry more than we do now. For
that you need great ideas. Ideas that blow your mind and demand your
attention. Ideas that are exciting, audacious and very unboring. Ideas
that have impact. Ideas you won't forget.
We need to have the
kind of ideas that paint a memorable picture people want to look at
rather than have ideas that are a frame for an endless procession of
bland and instantly forgettable whitewashed walls, we hope, people might
Because hope, is not a strategy.damonsbrain.com