I almost always read Richard’s Adliterate blog, but with the drama in the lead-up to Christmas last year, I must have missed this post on building better brands. The diagram here came out of another discussion that Richard was hosting, and it distills a whole range of thinking around whether or not you have a brand idea. What Richard was driving at was the difference between a brand idea and an advertising/creative idea.
In that I have been thinking about the nature of brands in some depth recently, it is quite fortuitous that I have stumbled upon this. I love its simplicity. And I think this is well timed considering the resignation of Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago over CareerBuilder’s Super Bowl ads (via JaffeJuice):
Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, has resigned as CareerBuilder’s agency of record after a five-year run. In an internal memo issued today, the agency’s president, Peter Krivkovich, said CareerBuilder put its account up for review after the agency’s Super Bowl ads failed to rank in the top 10 in USA Today’s viewer poll.
It seems unbelievable that the measurement of the success of a Super Bowl ad could hinge on a viewer poll. But it is even more unbelievable that the marketing team over at CareerBuilder could have such a narrow view of a brand — or at best, a confusion over the nature of a brand idea.
But it seems that this is not as crazy as first thought. Reading through the comments over at Adliterate, I found this interesting comment by Robert:
When planning, I try to find a truth people can embrace. I guess ‘beauty’ is about attraction. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think that is right. When someone feels attracted to a conceptual thought, proposition, message, story – whatever you want to call it – it is because they recognize something important from themselves in it. People don’t see the world as it is; they see it the way they are. And if they feel attracted to an idea, that is because they see their truth. A truth that ties in well to their beliefs.
Marketers are also attracted to ideas. The CareerBuilder team were focusing on user polling. They must have expecting buzz. Or YouTube viewing statistics. Or … Or … And while their expectations were obviously not met, it is clear that the "idea" of social media was top of mind. Whether this was communicated to the agency or not … I don’t know. But just because social media is growing in influence, it doesn’t mean that its measurements can be used to judge all media/creative. Sometimes social media is NOT the answer …
It is just a shame that ideas can sometimes overtake commonsense. It is why I prefer lots of small, momentum building ideas than one BIG one … when your big idea misses the mark, it can take you out.