Trying to justify a spend on a Super Bowl spot it's unforgivable to be forgettable.
And that's exactly what happened to Go Daddy who made obscure actor Jesse Heiman the product in demand at the expense of their own. Jesse found wealth and success as a Jay Leno regular, but failed to plug the company who made it possible on his way up. See my post on this.
==> Unforgivable. Unforgettable.
How often have you heard "I saw the greatest commercial last night" followed by a fairly detailed description of the commercial. Then if you ask them what brand it was for, they can't recall. Memorability is not a consumer benefit.
Too often advertising (both print and television) contain clever or amusing sometimes hilarious components that cause customers to rave about the commercial.
The sting should reinforce the brand name or, failing that, underline the principle differentiating benefit.
"Every kiss begins with Kay," can't be remembered without associating it with Kay Jewelers.
Don't insult your customers
David Ogilvy said "On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."
Unfortunately too many so called creative people today focus way too much on visuals and special effects which in the end do NOT get the audience to buy. As Ogilvy says, the headline is 80% and therefore that's where the focus ought to be.
Branding is very misused today. If you have a product with a long life cycle investing in branding as you suggest would be a good thing because there will be a bigger return down the road. But if you have a product with a short life cycle - like so many technology products today - investing in branding to reap long term results may not always turn out for the good.
Bottom line: Before you can do creative, you must forst develop strategy that adheres to the product life cycle, the audience you are selling to and the environment that impacts both the product and customer. This is what I think makes a great creative (and let me keep this brief and jargon-free):
1. It immediately speaks (hooks) to the intended consumer (target audience) through both an emotional and rational route preferably
2. Leaves no doubt as to what it is trying to sell / promise (clean branding, easy to recall)
3. Addresses one (not a dozen) problem that the consumer has in his life and offers a solution with the product / service
4. Avoid being so "clever" that a majority of consumers may miss the wood for the trees
5. Has a great call to action + contact information
Good creative is more than a headline. It is an action. It is a tactic for proving your brand is different. Proving that your brand gives more to the consumer than just another thing to buy. You give confidence, freedom, community, a sense of pride. Your brand motivates, encourages, stands up for a bigger mission. Your brand does something good worth talking about.
Often it makes executives nervous. It doesn't act or talk or look like what they're used to. It speaks to consumers like a person, not a corporation. It is honest. It attracts top-tier directors who want to film it on a shoe-string budget, because it is unlike any other project they've ever had. It invites the audience to take ownership of the message to share it, to mock it, to re-make it with their kids. It is a website that attracts more viewers than Honey Boo-Boo. It is a magazine ad that gets torn out and taped up on a wall, or mailed to your granddaughter because you feel it says something she should read. It says something you wish someone would have told you years ago.
And if it does all of these things-and few products are capable of supporting such brillant honesty-Then it is good. Hearts and minds will forever be chanced, and sales will follow.
Unfortunately, many clients come equipped with money and high hopes, but only a slight understanding of what brand building is. When they say "we want to build our brand," what many really mean is, "we want to increase our name awareness." And name awareness is very different than brand development, both in the strategy to achieve it and in the results.
Generating name awareness involves heavy ad spending, logo designs, sponsorships and other expensive undertakings. Certainly, all of these things may be part of a brand strategy, but they are not branding. Name awareness just means people have heard of you; it doesn't mean they will go out of their way to do business with you or stay loyal over the years. That is what brand appreciation does.
Simply stated, branding is the promise of an experience consistently delivered and a story well told. Every enterprise is basically in the same business: the experience-delivery business.
2. Get buy-in at the top level early on.
Every company takes its cue from the person at the top. The designation of branding as a priority must come from there. The companies that are most successful with their branding programs have CEOs who are tireless and persistent champions of branding.
Rallying the troops and generating and maintaining enthusiasm are much easier when everyone sees the passion of the commander-in-chief.
The vision for the company, where it is headed and how it will get there originates with the CEO, not committees or consultants. That is why any brand research that precedes development of a strategy must include an in-depth interview with him/her. And that is why the CEO is the person to carry it forward.
3. Use advertising and marketing to create the expectations of the brand experience.
Advertising pre-sells people on the experience they will encounter. When you go to Disney, you expect fun. When you go to Tiffany, you expect elegance. When you drive a Lexus, you expect luxury. Unless these companies grossly under- perform, these are the feelings you will come away with because you have been predisposed to look for them.
Manage expectations, then deliver.
The advertising and marketing a company does manages people's perceptions. Then, it is up to the company to deliver. If it even delivers moderately as promised, it will be perceived as it was advertised because that is what people are cued to look for. On the other hand, if the experience is not as promised (for example, the "we care" slogan is belied by a cold receptionist), the brand has lied and it will lose trust, the mainstay of any long-lived brand.
Your advertising should prepare people for the unique experience that your hospital will deliver. Then, you must be sure that everyone in the organization knows what has been promised and that they have the training and tools to deliver it.
4. Involve employees.
Most often, brand is viewed as a marketing project when in fact it is a companywide initiative. To be successfully carried out, it must be understood and practiced by every single person in the organization. I think the reason it becomes viewed as a marketing function is that the person responsible for steering the brand undertaking is often a marketing person.
Once the importance of a brand is appreciated by all, then the unique traits must be explained. Everyone should know how the brand development was approached. They should understand that the brand strategy originated out of research that included studying the competition as well as interviewing current and past customers, top management and employees. The more that employees are involved in the research phase of brand development, the more likely they are to embrace the findings. The more they embrace the findings, the greater chance the brand has to gain credibility.
Finally, each person should be required to think about what he or she can contribute on a daily basis to delivering the brand experience. Employees' success within the organization should bethe organization knows what has been promis tied to how well they do this.
When supporting the brand becomes a metric for individual success, people take it seriously. Medtronic, a medical technology company with 26,000 employees, has had the same mission statement for 42 years and the CEO always refers to it when talking to employees. A four-hour program including a video keeps the brand alive with all employees. Medtronic makes commitment to the brand a requirement for employment.
5. View the launch of the brand as the beginning of a long-term commitment.
Many companies feel that once the brand is launched, they are finished with branding. The launch of a brand is like the launch of a ship: the beginning of a journey. The only difference is that the journey is never-ending. Branding is always happening in that impressions are always being formed.
The difference between having a brand strategy and not having one is that without one, branding is unmanaged and unmonitored, and therefore of no use to the organization. But branding never ends. It must always be top of mind to everyone in the organization.
6. Think of monologues rather than dialogues.
Strong brands encourage a dialogue: they listen as much as they talk, sometimes more. And they listen first, then talk. The Internet has enhanced the ability of organizations to receive feedback from their customers, yet it is still being used primarily to present the current brochure rather than to learn.
To consistently monitor the success of the current brand delivery and to be fine-tuning it on an ongoing basis, you must incorporate a way to obtain and use customer and employee feedback. They will be impressed that you not only asked, but listened and acted.
There is nothing fast or easy about building a strong brand, but properly handled, it can be your company's most important and valuable asset.
7. Let us help you build a better brand. Operators are standing by. 561-620-8708.
Go Daddy's Superbowl Kiss Ad: Unforgivable. Unforgettable.