In this area of business everyone wants to come up with great ideas. Ideas that will take over the world. Or at least the target group. Well, maybe every now and then throw in one of them lions in Cannes. We want to make ideas so fabulous – everyone else can hardly wait to spread it on Twitter, Facebook, to colleagues, family, friends.. Even the neighbors dog wouldn’t be spared the story of how great that last ad for that company was.
So how how is it done? Where does all great ideas come from? Loneliness, madness, broken hearts and absinthe like back in the days of the legendary great artists? Or a gazillion years in marketing and advertising schools? Or do they just happen?
Do you feel it, when that one big idea strikes? Can you recognize a great idea when it beams through your mind? Or does it need hours of work to transform into a great thing? Is advertising art? Or is it a shameful trickery business?
I’m afraid there is no easy yes and no, right or wrong in the above. Advertising and it’s vehicles of ideas, they can be all or none.
Advertising in itself is the same force as it’s been since the first chicken owner shouted “Eggs for sale”. (Or did he sell chicken first?) But just as in any other shape of business – advertising is adjusting to time. Time, technology, trends and ..people. From working as a slap on the head (..as it looks today) where you were TOLD what to buy: “Successful wives buy Bernies Soap” (Whoops! Better buy it! Don’t wanna be UNsucessful, do ya?) until today. People were getting used to the current means of advertising along the way. Thinking “Bernie? Yeah, whatever.” Fact is, Bernie hadn’t really done his job keeping the wives as successful on the soapfront as they’d expected. And then this other soap came along and stole the show by smelling like roses. Well then, Bernie, now what?
Brands needed to shape up! On a winding road leading up til today – brands have, in the latest years, had to become more honest and transparent. Not necessarily because they wanted to. But because people demanded it. And the climate today is that if people don’t feel like they get what they’re promised – you’ll hear from them. A lot of them. And it will be spread like fire on social channels before you can say “Chicken”.
So, how do we make great advertising? A very basic foundation needs two things.
To be built on truth. And if it’s not true – the real truth needs to be insignificant to the experience. If else: expect an uncertain level of turbulence. To clarify: if a restaurant is built around a theme, characters and stories may be built into the concept – to enhance the dining experience. It doesn’t matter if the characters ever existed.
The feeling of connection and reward. I want to feel that I make the connection in the given message and what I see/hear/feel is strumming a string or two in me. There’s a reaction. It may make me sad, happy or any emotion – but indifference.
The above reaction – if it’s strong enough will affect me so much that I will want to share it. In words – written or spoken. Or perhaps it is something that has a goal to change my point of view. And if it makes me stop and think? Bulls eye.
So, is that it?
It’s advertising. There are certainly more good questions than crystal clear answers on how the audience will react. But the ones who have the most knowledge – will have most of the answers. To an extent. And when it comes to that golden idea? It can be ignited by the most insignificant thing. A word, a feeling, a visual experience. A lot of times through conversation and collaboration. And then you need means to get it out there. To YouTubers, Twitterers, friends ….and maybe even one or two neighborhood dogs.