maximum potential

these are the thought starters, insights, and inspiration to get you, and the brands you manage, to reach your maximum potential

monday spot(light): beate uhse, “child lock”

 some of the best creative gets people to reThink the brand, the category, the problem, and/or the consumer. on monday spot(light) we discuss some of the creative in the marketplace that accomplishes that, for better or for worse. if you have recommendations, please email them to me at detavio@gmail.com

i saw this spot on so many blogs i had to post.  in this attention economy it definitely catches my attention and delivers the message in a creative, unexpected way that is sticky.  i don’t know who this is, but i know they have a very important “child lock” feature.

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, , ,

marketing and advertising that works

this post is one of a series as i write my book to help marketers and advertisers (re)Think how we approach communicating with our audiences. in order to sharpen my thoughts and ensure that i am building rather than adding to the clutter, i decided to write the book (at least the headlines of it) through weekly wednesday posts on my blog so that we could discuss together. you can check out the entire series here. for those who read for more of the (re)Think life slant, don’t worry, i will include life applications as much as possible.

over the last few weeks we have discussed some of the perceptions that we hold as marketers and advertisers (and people) that just may be incorrect.  namely, we assume that people should listen to us because (1) we believe we are the only person in the room and have their full attention (2) we think that if we shout the loudest people will pay attention.  the reality is that we are in the attention game to communicate and bring value to people’s lives.  over the next few weeks we will walk through this truth and the few approaches that i believe really work when it comes to marketing and advertising.  Here’s a sneak peak:

  1. approach people as people, not consumers
  2. take the chance to do marketing w/ meaning (i am using the name developed by bob gilbreath/bridge worldwide because it is much cooler than my benefit or utilitarian marketing nomenclature)
  3. be different…i mean really different
  4. leverage the power of word of mouth

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, my book, , , , ,

monday spot(light): coca cola, future history makers

some of the best creative gets people to reThink the brand, the category, the problem, and/or the consumer.  on monday spot(light) we discuss some of the creative in the marketplace that accomplishes that, for better or for worse.  if you have recommendations, please email them to me at detavio@gmail.com

a few weeks ago i showcased coca cola’s new “open happiness” campaign on my blog.  since most of you said that campaign was less than average, i wanted to give them another shot by bringing forth their black history month campaign.  the only thing they could have done better was make it more than just a print campaign.  here are a few reasons why i like it:

  • the message, although not necessarily unexpected, is powerful and strong.  coke has latched on to something larger than themselves (as all great brands do) in a way that is appreciated by (and specific to) the africanic community as they encourage future generations to: be giving, be heard, be legendary, and be driven.
  • unlike most ads, i think that this one was designed to stand out amongst the black history month clutter.  it would get my attention if i was flipping through vibe, essence, newsweek, etc.
  • everything from the artistic syle of the campaign, to the messaging and the insights behind it are specific to the africanic community and ensure that it resonates with the target
  • coke is not afraid to play the background and celebrate black history month in a way that puts the target first and not the company’s sales goals.  

there are probably a million more reasons why i like it better than paying labron big bucks to be in a worthless commercial that ads to the clutter in the system, but with no further adieu here is “future history makers”:

labron james

labron james

 

(thanks craig for making me aware of the campaign, keep doing what you do)

 

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, , , , ,

we see the world incorrectly: truth #1

this post is one of a series as i write my book to help marketers and advertisers (re)Think how we approach communicating with our audiences.  in order to sharpen my thoughts and ensure that i am building rather than adding to the clutter, i decided to write the book (at least the headlines of it) through weekly wednesday posts on my blog so that we could discuss together.  you can check out the entire series here.  for those who read for more of the (re)Think life slant, don’t worry, i will include life applications as much as possible.  

truth #1: we’re not the only ones in the room

in advertising, often the creative executions we develop to speak to our audiences are done with the assumption that we will be talking to them in a vacuum.  we imagine, or subconsciously assume, that we will be the only ones in the room and that, like good little boys and girls, when it is our time to talk our consumers will give us their full attention and listen to everything we have to say (what else would one expect when they have a captive audience).  simply put, we speak to our audiences as if our tv spot, print ad, web application, event, product, or idea is the only one on the market.  

the reality is: we are not the only ones in the room.  in fact, the room is quite crowded.  advertising executions not only compete within medium (commercials compete with other commercials and television programming) but across time and other mediums (thanks youtube).  advertising competes with everything fighting for your audiences’ attention, which means the laptop, the screaming kids, the school assignment due first thing in the morning, the cell phone, the dvr, the twenty other restaurants on the street, and the list goes on and on.

are your marketing communications developed with an acknowledgement that they will have to compete once they are in the market?  or, do you just fool yourself by thinking everything you do is great because it looks cool or because someone internally thinks it is clever?  or perhaps you think it’s great because the client finally said they love it or the research results that were tested behind closed doors in a quiet room (that’s how you usually experience advertising isn’t it?) said it will move the needle.  the reality is, getting it through the internal review is the easy part, competing in the real marketplace is a completely different story.

life: this truth holds for our personal lives as well.  we aren’t the only ones trying to get the job at google in a down economy, asking our boss for a promotion, seeking the attention of that certain young lady or applying to business school in the fall.  in a vacuum, that grad school application looks great because you spent four years doing consulting; however, if you forget that the application right after yours may come from a serial entrepreneur with a story that proves they will be the best alumni the school has ever graduated than your current approach may not set you up to win.  if you knew your competition had 5 years experience leading teams in iraq how would you alter your story to convince admissions that you were a necessity to the incoming class?  how would you ensure that after a long day of reading 50 applications yours would stand out and demand their attention?  after all, it’s 7pm and your app is probably competing with the screaming kids…

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, my book, personal branding, , , , ,

obama: build or destroy

“your people will judge you on what you build, not what you destroy”  

— Barack Obama, President, ’09 Presidential Inauguration

we are so used to destruction.  the reality of it is, destroying is easier.  it’s easier to tear down your employee or coworker rather than lift him up, or to criticize google rather than build your own, or to tell someone they can’t instead of telling them that they can.  as a marketer, it’s easier to develop ideas that destroy value by adding clutter to the system rather than developing breakthrough creative and ideas that add value to our consumers’ lives.  my biggest criticism of business school and the case study method was that so often we learned how to rip apart a company and critique what they were doing wrong; much less often did we learn how to really do it right.  too often we go the easy route.  

we should determine that every day we will build customer value into the system rather than destroy it, and that we will build upon the hopes and dreams of one another, and that we will build and leave a legacy in both our business and professional lives that we can be proud of.  building takes work; but the reward is much greater.  after all, according to barack, that’s how you’ll be judged.

Filed under: inspiration, lifemark, personal branding, quotes, , , , , , , , , , ,

are you sticky?

the most valuable asset to marketers/advertisers right now is attention; and frankly, consumers/people are not paying attention to you or your brand.  but for those few brands who are smart enough to breakthrough and capture the attention of their consumers, the next challenge is to” to stick.”  

if sticking has been a problem for you/your brand, i seriously recommend the SUCCESs framework developed by my former stanford gsb professor chip heath, and his brother dan.  according to them them, sticky ideas are as follows:

  • simple.  the core of the idea is identified and communicated.
  • unexpected.  people don’t pay attention nor remember things they expected.
  • concrete.  make it real; avoid the world of ambiguity at all costs.
  • credible.  are you trustworthy?  authentic?
  • emotional.  thinking is great, but emotion incites action and its hard to do both at the same time.
  • stories.  people often put themselves in the story and feel more connected to the idea.  often times, a great story will accomplish all of the above.  

for more, you should buy the book, check out the web site, and/or read the blog.

Filed under: lifemark, personal branding, , , , , , ,

spot(light): cheerleader dad

while watching the reel in the lounge of my favorite partner agency yesterday, i had the privilege of being reminded why the fatherhood.org spot they developed is one of my favorites.  

although i’m sure the main insight that led to this spot probably had nothing to do with culture, for me, as an africanic consumer, it strikes a huge emotional chord.  in a world where black men are often bashed and thought to be non-existent in the family, it is extremely rewarding to see a black father portrayed in such a positive light.  

the image of our black father (i prefer hero) in this spot completely bucks against the image that is more commonly displayed.  unlike much of what we see in mainstream tv, this black father is not absent; he is completely involved in the life of his baby girl.  he is all in!  so much so, that his identity of dad is publically prioritized over all other competiting identities and definitions of self (after all, “real men” don’t move their hips like that or talk about “boys” do they?  this is definitely not “G,” right?).  

at the end of the day, this is an excellent spot; and without question, you got my attention!

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

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