The best advertising, is not advertising?

on Thursday, October 22, 2009
This was an interesting point made by the AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed, earlier this week.

I totally agree! Increasingly people are becoming more savvy. Blocking out advertising that doesn't benifit them. Advertising is seen all around us, yet how much of is actually taken it? How much of your marketing activity sells your product or service. After all isn't this the name of the game?

The best forms of advertising in this day and age is not advertising.

So how do you reach people now?

By being helpful and giving solutions.

By helping people connect with each other.

By creating genuine benifits.

As I mentioned in a previous post, it's not about creating campaigns that create short term gain for a brand, its about movements. This is done through creating relevent content that engages, answers problems and enhances peoples lives.


Creative planners?

on Thursday, October 15, 2009

bridging the gap!

After some interesting conversations on twitter earlier today and of course having been to several large ad agencies over the last 3 years, I’ve been thinking about the agency of the future.
Integration is so important in advertising campaigns these days but what about integration in actual advertising agencies?
I’ve spoke to various “old school” type planners in the past month; they are working or have worked at some of the biggest agencies in the country. One thing they all echoed is that advertising is indeed changing and the roles will be next to change.
Advertising agencies will need people who can thing strategically and creatively.
The days of the pure left brain thinkers (planners) and pure right brain thinkers (creative’s) could be numbered. The new breeds of advertisers will infuse creativity with strategy.
They will bring strategic direction and art direction.
They will bring insight and creative flair.
Above all, they will design profitable yet appealing solutions.
One of the things that were said to me by a traditional planner is: your course is too far ahead of advertising. Basically, it is already producing “creative strategists” like me. I found it very difficult to put a label on what I do; I'm a strong creative but just as strong analytically. So I don't fit into any set agency role without losing one aspect of my skills. The larger, more traditional agencies don’t have room for us yet. They will have in 5 years when the changes have happened but until then we have to choose what we want to lose, creativity or strategy.
The type of role a creative planner would play was summed up nicely on Ivans blog over at adsoftheworld.com:
This guy brings to the table his knowledge and proficiency in understanding a client. Strategic thinking is definitely a pivotal part of this new role, but at the same time he can creatively interpret data coming from the client, and create a platform for the creative team. He gets a task from the client for which he creates an insightful brief. Then he briefs the creative team, giving them enough meat to create a campaign. The team then gets back to him with the solution, which he evaluates, keeping in mind the client's requirements and also the creative aspect. If satisfied, he presents the work to the client.
So what are your thoughts? Is this already happening? Does it need to start to happen?


New business ventures and brand marketing (rant #1)

on Saturday, October 03, 2009

Picture via: http://www.startagardeningbusiness.co.uk

At 3 Monkeys No Banana we are often approached by small start-ups wanting marketing/branding advice and direction, which of course if fine. However what we seem to find is that we are undertaking a lot more than simply brand strategy, it turns into business strategy. A lot of businesses come to us with business problems and try to answer these through branding. Of course you can't solve an underlying business problem through brand strategy.

The most common problem for this seems to be the lack of understanding of the customer’s needs, they have a product or service yet know little in terms of how this is any different then an existing offering or how their particular product/service can fulfil a customers need, whether that be functional or emotional. It can be frustrating at times especially when the owner of the business doesn't see a need to carry out research or feels he/she knows enough through assumptions.

Every business should start by identifying its markets, primary and secondary. Finding out how their product benefits them, what their customers want, need, fear, live and breathe. I can’t see how you can start a business venture without having a deep understanding of who your customers are!

As marketers the first hurdle for us is convincing the client that simply creating a nice logo, print ad and slogan won't sell the product. One of the things we try to do is help them understand their value proposition and then devise and deliver a more defined and measurable strategy along with understanding their market, customers and innovative marketing techniques.

The worst thing, well most frustrating is when they have worked with "marketing" people before who are nothing more than bedroom graphic designers. The clients have the ideology that producing a few pieces of marketing literature that simply communicate the product and its features will gain sales and brand loyalty. Strategy defines your communications not creative. It takes a lot sometimes to drive this message home to business owners.

Ok, rant over.