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So my wife and I were having a chat – which we occasionally do if we’re bored – when she suddenly turned to me and asked:
“Do you know what beacon of marketing genius you should be aspiring to reach?”
This shocked me.
Not just because she was talking about a subject she hates with a total and utter passion, but because we were having this conversation late at night when normally any question or statement that leaves her gob is riddled with jillyism.
“No …” I replied, “… why don’t you tell me?”
She then looked at me all smugly and said this …
OK … OK … so she didn’t say “a picture”, but she did say ‘Aero chocolate bar’.
“But why?” I asked … at this point, genuinely interested.
“Because …” she responded, “… they’ve made a chocolate bar full of bubbles of air sounds good when you’re getting a load less chocolate”.
Now the thing is, she has a point.
Aero is a chocolate bar that – I think – charges a similar price to other ‘premium’ bars and yet in terms of chocolate content, is – possibly – much lower.
I don’t know if that means it’s the beacon of marketing genius that I should be aspiring to, but I also think it’s an important reminder that sometimes, dealing with the product truths head on is a powerful way to create meaningful communication.
I’ve talked about this in the past – unplanned planning – but it’s worth repeating because I can’t help but feel there are a lot of planners and creatives who seem intent on creating brand ideas/territories based on what their ego wants rather anything more ‘strategic’.
Sure, ‘reframing’ is an important and valuable tool in the brand communication arsenal, but so is embracing a product truth … and while there are always a number of issues and circumstances that will dictate which way you should go, dealing with something that people already have an opinion on – be it a positive or, as I prefer, a negative – means you can shape the audiences view head-on rather than spending lots of time and money trying to convince them about something completely new.
Of course there is no set rule … and I know that I have not explained myself well … however when I remember things like Peperami’s amazing “It’s A Bit Of An Animal” brand idea – possibly the most blatant ‘product truth’ ever communicated – I feel pretty confident that they would not have been able to create such powerful, meaningful and memorable advertising if they’d adopted a more ‘creative’ approach to positioning.
In essence, don’t under-estimate the power of dealing with things head on.
Creativity is as much to do with how you deal with realities as it does with creating totally different perspectives.
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