This is another ambient media rant. Yes, Yes I know most people aren’t interested in this traditional stuff, but it is the stuff we all see and the big idea (or lack of it) is front and centre, so that makes it a little more fun to discuss.
The worlds most loved brand gets themselves a big idea, and then develop it into a big creative idea. They break with the category, find a universal truth – or at least a truth that connects with crystal clarity to the core target audience, and then execute it in a way that makes people think, feel and do something differently.
The campaigns we remember, talk about and act on are usually big idea based. They dominate the meagre 4% of marketing communications that are noticed and remembered for the right reasons (as opposed to 7% that are noticed and remembered for the wrong reasons and the remaining 89% that aren’t noticed or remembered at all.
Why is it only 4%?
- Big ideas are rare beats to start with
- Big ideas don’t always translate to big creative ideas
- Big creative ideas often don’t make it all the way through to fearless, fabulous creative execution.
Let’s take Match.com as an example.
We think #loveyourimperfections is a lovely idea. It contrasts with general dating site convergent thinking and execution (e.g. skipping through spring meadows with the Mr/Mrs ‘right’).
Rather It talks to an insight around insecurities and self-doubt that surround the mating game… maybe the ones that have helped you to singledom in the first place.
But, apparently people disliked the Match.com ‘love your imperfections’ campaign… to the extent that this man became the most hated individual in London.
Now, I’ll bet you a pound that the agency originally delivered a series of mild to wild ideas – with the latter being the ones that would have really got people talking, and probably taking an action.
But these are probably propped up in a corner of a studio somewhere along with the rest of the ‘if only’ executions that never got away.
Still, why the client may have bottled it, the rest of the world carried the beacon forward.
Spoof ads. Showed us what might have been.
I mean – these spoof executions are hardly rocking the establishment to its core or offending delicate sensibilities… but they are doing the job the big creative idea originally intended.
Making it all a bit more human, real, and amusing.
So, why didn’t it happen for real? Maybe part of the answer lies in the execution that ran below.
Apparently, but unsurprisingly in our over sensitive age, a couple of melting vulnerable snowflakes complained at the suggestion that freckles were an ‘imperfection’. So the company removed it.
And that’s a pity, because a few complaints aren’t a sign that you’re doing it wrong, just that it’s getting noticed.
In fact, we had a client a couple of years back who, in true challenger fashion told us to take the execution to the limit – our instruction was “If you’re not getting double digit complaints, it’s not doing its job. If it’s three figures we’ll maybe pull back a tad”.
Like they say “where there’s great work, there’s a great client”. And our client had no intention of paying for the world’s most expensive public wallpaper.