Sometimes advertisements and brand activities seem so bizarre, you can hardly believe it! Table fans that can take you to the moon. Chocolates that let you travel time. A vertical soccer match high in the air, 10 storeys off the ground to be precise. You think that’s impossible? Lo and Behold. Adidas proves nothing is impossible. They invited two experienced rock climbers, suspended them from ropes, and had them play a game of football ‘mid-air’! Yes, quite a breathtaking and mind-blowing spectacle for onlookers, but did the brand achieve its target? You bet!
Who wouldn’t want to witness this eccentric promotional activity? Such is the impact of creativity – unusual yet realistic; challenging yet possible. If brands would bore, they wouldn’t score. This notion fuels marketing professionals and innovative minds of the industry and helps them in churning out communication that is wacky, uncommon and simple yet sharp. At times we tickle a funny bone and otherwise we connect on an emotional level.
Where limitations end, creativity begins. That’s when brands come out of their cocoon and soar. Ads rooted in creativity gain laurels for sure, but there’s an appreciation beyond these awards – one that comes from consumers and a brand’s sales figure reflects it all.
A research suggests that the ‘likeability’ factor of an ad is a significant boosting factor for a brand’s sales. Why do these brands succeed? This is because their focus is on nurturing their relationship with consumers. Their ‘no-sale’ approach is what actually gets them their desired sales result. In an effort to compete with their rivals out there, brands go so harsh on their selling efforts that they come across as a sales person through their ads; and if that’s their case, they’ve already lost.
So, how do brands actually make an impression on consumers? What are the strategies these brands use to become a part of our routine, gradually influencing our buying behavior? Ads always need to be focused around important factors. With over 2 decades of experience and expertise on this subject; these three are the most important to me:
Offers: Amidst a zillion brands, where each one promotes an offer, how can one make a cut above the rest? That’s when ideation comes into picture. Remember the classic Beetle sale ad by Volkswagen? This ad flashed the famed symbol for sale, ‘the star’, along the outline of the impressive beetle. Having an offer is not enough, the way it is presented, matters. A renowned fashion label once showcased collapsed mannequins and only one word written ‘SALE’. This ad immediately makes us visualize what happens during a sale. So a creative ad backed by a strong offer and vice versa is a sure goal.
Humour: The power of ideas cannot be measured. Some ads are just so hilarious; you actually wait for it, don’t you? Let me remind you of the classic Nolan’s Cheddar Cheese ad. That tiny little mouse gets lured by cheese and is caught in the mouse trap. What happens next was unexpected and that’s what made the ad unforgettable. It was maddening to see the mouse work-out on a “mouse trap”. The way your thought is presented garners attention. Make them laugh, and they’re yours.
Simplicity: Sometimes ads bring out their emotional side with the simplest gestures. A leading mobile network service provider demonstrated it perfectly. They featured a small boy who was followed by his little pet dog everywhere – wherever you go, our network follows. Bingo! It’s Vodafone I’m talking about. Or consider the unforgettable Cadbury’s ad. They’ve caught emotions amidst festive occasions and it all worked out in their favor. The human connect reflected by these ads is what stayed with you and that’s how you remember the brand.
Push the boundaries, be experimental and playful, and don’t go by the book. Advertising is a refreshing makeover for every brand. It holds the power to change perceptions and inspire ambitions. It aims at elevating our lifestyle and defining our stature. It’s a brand conscious world and it keeps growing bigger. Every brand was once a mere product to be discovered and with the right kind of marketing has turned into a brand most sought after.
Marketing plays a major role in transforming a brand’s image. A combination of idea, visualization, features, uniqueness, and presentation acquires name and fame for a brand. A brand cannot live without advertising and advertising cannot thrive without consumers. Creativity will not only get attention, but will build a strong customer relationship and ring the cash register. For a consumer to love back a brand, a brand must show some love for creativity and connect.
And if there’s one thing I was to advise you for a start, I’d say embrace imperfection. Life is not all about beautiful faces and pretty landscapes; it’s all the imperfections that make it real. Want a real connect with your audience? Make a unique approach and do not follow the trend. It’s time we changed the game to hear an ‘encore’.
Sailesh Nathan is the managing director of Dubai-based ad agency BuyDoBuy Advertising.