Filed under: Comment
The baby industry – like everywhere in the World – is very competitive in China.
Despite a one child policy, you can’t walk down an alleyway without bumping into some pregnant woman.
Because of this, shops are desperate to get their unfair slice of the baby action … so while many take out ads or do a direct marketing campaign to new mother groups, there’s a shop near our office who did something much more interesting.
No, they’ve not hired me to stand outside of their shop [let's be honest, if anything that would have the opposite effect] they’ve put a set of giant furniture outside of their store.
What this has done is not only get people to notice the store, but talk about it.
Not just Mum’s and Dad’s … but people who have no kids, aren’t old enough to have kids or are to old to have any more kids.
With a few bits of wood, they have found a way to capture attention, convey the magic of the store and cleverly represent what they do and who they do it for.
Now imagine if an agency had been given that brief.
Would they have come up with it?
Do you think?
While I’d like to think/hope a couple would [us included] but my gut tells me that most of them wouldn’t.
They’d come up with a film … an app … a poster … a youtube video …
Sure it would look good … sure it would probably be bursting with energy and colour … but I’d bet it wouldn’t be nearly as powerful or effective as building an oversized table and chairs and placing it in front of their store.
And here’s the thing, adland could do that …
Adland should do that …
While there are many reasons this sort of solution is the exception, rather than the rule – I feel media agencies have a big part to play in it all.
Of course it’s not purely their fault – as I said, creative agencies and their ego is very much to blame too – however because clients tend to judge their effectiveness by the level of media exposure they’ve achieved [R&F] – rather than by specific business goals – media agencies are basically being encouraged to push for creative work that can be placed in measurable media channels because it help ensure they get their fees.
What this means is that if an agency did come up with the idea of building a giant table and chair to promote a baby shop, they’d be told it would be better if they turned the concept ‘into an ad’ because that way they could achieve better R&F scores.
While I appreciate media and creative agency separation has driven massive profits for holding companies, I don’t know whether clients have benefited nearly as much.
My view is that unless adland gets back to remembering what it’s here for – which, contrary to belief, is not about awareness or achieving sales without longer term benefit – then we will continue to dig our own grave, and that would be a tragedy because I truly believe adland is one of the most powerful and valuable assets for business … though to realise that, it requires everyone to be focused on the same goal, not what will drive their personal profit centre.
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