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Comms planning, brand strategy, life etc
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It won't go away, but just keeps giving!Trying to tell me something I think. Will act one day - Hero's Journey and all that!!
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2012 on Archetypal TV at livingbrands
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Indeed. And next time I'm going to buy X...honest! Do you ever escape the cannabis smoke and make it over to London? Give me a shout if you do, and we can grab a coffee?
Good stuff Martin. Now do some work ;o) I would add only one (slight) defence of differentiation - no matter the madness of why we might choose to do something in the first place, I do think we like to be able to post-rationalise that behaviour (to ourselves and others). When I worked in the car market, we talked about the 'BBQ conversation': when your next door neighbour asks why you bought that hunk of junk you reel off some (spurious) USPs...even if they had nothing to do with your decision in reality. So maybe that is the real (only?) role of differentiation: being able to retrospectively justify random, illogical behaviour.
Meaningful people are always better natch. And it was Mr Haque saying it anyway! "LUSH are involved in PNG"? Que?
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Thanks for those really important points. And I'll definitely read the paper you mention. I was writing here primarily from the perspective of marketing communications solutions (that being my area of expertise), where experience suggests that just trying to argue people into changed attitudes rarely works. But I do recognise that I am really talking short term, behavioural tactics to get initial (mass) engagement and involvement, rather than long term solutions that build long term, commited involvement with an issue. Beyond this, as you say, something more substantial and on-going is required to build on initial enthusiasm if you are to turn wearing a white wrist band (for possibly superficial reasons) into that genuine commitment (and avoid subsequent boredom and disillusionment). But that must always be easier to do from a point of contact with someone, however transitory, than where there is no relationship/ interest at all. And PS on the subject of celebs - I always prefer a solution which doesn't go down that particular easy path, if only for the professional pride of avoiding what's been done before!
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Peggy, thanks for your questions. I must admit I'm not completely clear on some of your points, but will try and answer. The thoughts in my presentation are not really aimed at those situations where people have 'right' beliefs and are frustrated by a difficulty in acting on them. In that situation, something more structural is probably required to allow them to behave as they would like. The danger otherwise, is that they start to adapt their beliefs to conform to their wrong behaviour (which is, actually, what I am arguing...albeit in reverse!) My thinking is more for when people have wrong or no beliefs (ie apathy) on an issue. Historically, solutions in these situations have been built around changing beliefs. I would suggest though that this can be both inefficient and ultimately ineffective, as people are resistent to belief change. And that (counter intuitively) it can often be easier to change behaviour directly, and see beliefs follow on. What I am not asying tho, is that you do this without any reference to beliefs - ideally you would like both to change in parallel. And even with a lag, you need to be guiding people as to what they should be thinking (which sounds a bit thought policey, but you know what i mean. So ultimately, yes, I agree with you - behaviour change does have a belief dimension to it. But currently, we can be seduced into thinking all we have to do is change people's minds and behaviour with shift as well - seductive in theory...very difficult in practice. The only time I think this really happens is when confronted with a situation so shocking/traumatic it effectively re-wires the brain. Or if you are rebelling in some way (e.g. students vs parents/powers-that-be). But that's a whole different pot of often selfish motivations.
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Someone mentioned this to me the other day. Had no idea it was so singularly terribly. And not even current - think you can (just about) get away with 'discovering' something online if you're the first, but BM did this 3 years ago!
Toggle Commented May 20, 2011 on Oh dear, oh dear, oh, dear at Here Be Monsters|blog
Amen. Sounds just like here. But wonder if it's something that can only ever really happens at smaller agencies?
Toggle Commented May 19, 2011 on Being fast and good at Northern Planner
I was focusing more on the positives at the backend! But, no, I don't believe 'the consumer' is to blame. I was in disagreement with him there (unless bankers are consumers too). Consumerism and a consumerist mindset maybe. But blaming the consumer, just places the blame at the door of the buyer and ignores the role of the seller and the broader cultural malaise.
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Always been very ambivilant about the Cadbury campaign as well. Part of me wanted it to work; part of me wondered whether the 'branded entertainment' argument was the path to 'anything goes' madness/laziness. And on the sales front, I've never seen CDM specific numbers, only Cadbury corporately. But these came off the back of a massive health scare-related downturn the year before (salmonella I think), and the relauch of Wispa.
Toggle Commented Feb 14, 2011 on Christ this is good at Northern Planner
Love this. And think it would hit the spot if I was a patriotic (blue coller background) American looking to spend some serious cash on a car. Makes for an interesting comparison with the VW ad. This stands for something, makes that emotional connection aand proud to own, and feels like it could only be for a 'classic' US marque like Chrysler (and maybe only Chrylser - don't know enough about how it's seen) But as I said to someone elsewhere, VW is a sweet film with a nice little human insight. But it's a bit 'insert any car (even any mechanical product) here'. (Call me a planner, but where's the brand in all this - doesn't VW stand for anything nowadays?) It might be generating some Youtube hits, but 'success' will come down to whether people (outside media land) are watching (and remembering) the Darth Vader car ad (lots of cash flushed away...cos Johnny-car-buyer won't be bothered to find out who's doing the entertaining later) or the VW ad with Darth Vader (money well spent, and next-purchase brand engagement forged). Only time will tell. But even now, I couldn't honestly tell you the model featured...even tho I know it was a 'big launch'.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2011 on Christ this is good at Northern Planner
Glad you like it. Sorry I got there first!
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It's the old 'art' vs 'selling' chestnut. We have a commercial that I really liked as an entertaining piece of film. And it worked OK. But didn't deliver as much as we had hoped (in a fairly mainstream, FMCG category). Now I'll go out on a limb here (and probably get drummed out of the Planner's Union), but L*#k T%$t confirmed it was amongst the most impactful/engaging commercials they'd looked at, but also made some very obvious suggestions for 'improvements', changes that made the film more ad-like and less a piece of entertainment. After a bit of hmmm-ing, we obliged. And the result has been a significant improvement in effectiveness, with even people in the industry seemingly noticing it for the first time. But much as it may be a better piece of selling (and the right thing to have done), I still prefer watching the original. And still feel philosophically at odds with L*#k T%$t as a matter of principle ;o)
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2011 on Black Swan Craft at HolyCow
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OK, it's clearly not a shocker - it's BBH after all. And I can understand the 14 yr olds watching X-factor Twittering it up. But I can only say how I felt, as a long term, super-heavy Yeo Valley consumer, sat on the sofa watching with my family - made me cringe. And the killer was the casting - just seemed all sorts of embarrasing wrong. Could have been so so much better...and funnier...maybe even excusing the Yeo/yo! superficiality of the idea. But yes, impact is impact. And I've worked on enough 'not great' ads during my career to know they can still shift stuff. Not sure that's a good enough justification tho. As a Yeo loyalist, I would say must try harder.
Toggle Commented Oct 26, 2010 on Yeo no! at livingbrands
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Don't think even the client would disagree there. Although less that it's people who don't like food - they do very much enjoy it. But more that they have limited horizons - it's a cliche but 'i know what i like and i like what i know'. One of the most instructive comments you hear about Richmond: 'it tastes like a sausage' (for which read - it tastes like how i think, from my experience, a sausage should taste vs. all the new fancy stuff with bits in liked by people who work in advertising!) And on the ad, what's most interesting is that we (QS and client) have always felt that it's good but not great, and could be much better (hence new ad). Yet it shifts product like nobodies business. Which again shows that, much to the horror of proper sausage lovers, people love Richmond.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2010 on Sausages at Northern Planner
Richmond. Britain's favourite (and biggest) sausage by a country mile. £120m at retail and growing fast (£80m 3 years ago). Despite limited (for FMCG) ad spend. Which still delivers £6 incremental sales for ever £1 spent. The people have spoken. ;o)
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2010 on Sausages at Northern Planner
You're right: pitching as an experiment to prove how Ikea makes your house a home seems more on brand. This is too soft and squidgy.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2010 on Ikea's cats at livingbrands
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Not read the book, but I'm guessing that (rightly or wrongly)he would argue that advertising is not the kind of thing he has in mind when it comes to good ideas! But I think you are.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2010 on Where good ideas come from at livingbrands
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As screenwritting guru Robert Mckee said: what happens is fact, not truth. Truth is what we think about what happens. So truth IS opinion. Which is why it's important!
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2010 on Planning blogs are useless at Northern Planner
"the only thing that would be different now might be each character having their own Facebook account, the book, the extra episodes online, the exclusives and the leaks and maybe even releasing new characters and story arcs to hardcore fans and maybe letting them in on the story" And you know what - I think it would be less good, and much less effective, for it. A lot of the idea's emotional power came from not knowing, from being one-step removed, out of the loop etc. You had to join the dots and fill the blanks in your own mind. And you had to wait (now there's a novel idea!!), the patience and expectation adding to the 'experience'. But put it all out in the open and available now, interactive with nothing hidden (as you would feel obliged to do), and you kill the mystery and intruige that made the relationship so interesting (who are these people, what do they think, what happens in their lives?). When you can have it all and know it all, what is there to care about any more. And will I actually be bothered to do the 'engagement' thing anyway? It's only a coffee brand after all - do i really want to spend hours of my time in 'conversation'? Call me old fashioned, but I still think there merit in keeping things simple sometimes.
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2010 on Unreleased sexual tension at Northern Planner
It's the irony of thinking that happiness come from getting what we lack rather than being satisfied with what we have. Which would also make the basics easier to eliver for all.
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2010 on Rediscovering our core human drives at livingbrands
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Thank you - super awesomeness is alway my aspiration!
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2010 on A very simple model for success at livingbrands
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Completely agree. And clients can be just as bad – both wanting agencies who ‘do’ process, and having their own hoops to jump things thru…because it gives reassurance. Our process is pretty straightforward, if rather ‘unprofessional’ – we all sit in a room, talk together and bounce ideas around. Bad I know, but I hardly ever write 'proper' briefs then 'brief' creatives anymore!
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2010 on Process is the devil at Northern Planner
Spent mostly enjoying the sun, sea and all inclusive pina coladas of Turkey. A break which is now over, sadly. Still trying to summon up the enthusiasm to get all digital again!
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2010 on Social media sabbatical at livingbrands
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Have you read Umair Haque's Great To Good?
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