Tuesday, October 23, 2007

breaking the chains on advertising

Advertising v. marketing v. branding: what's the big idea here? (pun intended)

In a recent post over at Adliterate, Richard develops his idea that branding is getting crammed into advertising. Like, if we just clump the two together, then one equals the other. It's something I've never thought about, but I really like his thinking.

BIG BRAND ideas, he says, are the driving philosophy of the business rather than just a strategy for marketing communications; or short lived creative; or even one-dimensional advertising ideas that just have tactical responses.
  • The desire to communicate the entire brand experience can compromise advertising's ambition to sell.
FREE Advertising! Let it be as ambitious as it can be when attached to a specific business problem. When sales are low (easy example), let advertising focus on increasing them.
  • Advertising is always sharper when it is attached to a specific business problem rather than wafting around conjuring up beautiful brand worlds.
A problem ad agencies are facing these days in the new (brand) world is that of branding being stymied by traditional media: 15, 30 or even 60 seconds is not a lot of time to communicate a brand, and if you're dealing with a banner ad or other digital tactic, it's even less time. So why are we forcing branding into the small confines of advertising? If it's so hard, let's look closely on why it's so hard: maybe Richard has hit on it -- because advertising is just not meant to be the (one and only) branding tool.

It's something to think about. It's here that planners can play the biggest role. For now, let's free up advertising to do what it needs to do: stay close to the product; involve the consumer and his/her attention; and when it comes to real engagement, then (and only then) pull out the branding guns (if the client has the budget).

Plan on.

1 comment:

richard h said...

Thanks for that, helps crystalise stuff for me when people talk about it.