Tag Archives: foundations

The Playboy Club Bunny Manual

Most companies with staff have some form of an employee handbook.  It’s usually buried deep up there on the dustiest shelf or at the bottom of the never-opened drawer.

It might’ve been section 27 in the big binder you were handed when you started at your job.  It included things like start time, finish time, lunchtime, holidays, how you can be fired (if it comes to it).  Stuff like that.

Not many even talk about (let alone enforce) your expected behaviour as part of a world famous brand experience and that’s a big problem.

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Will the real creativity please stand up?

Daring and creativity is no more important to brands than right now.

Standing out from the crowd, a shiny makeover and carving a patch is one of the most powerfully important things any brand can do in any climate but especially now when the marketing landscape is rife with tumbleweed.

Why is it then that there is so little creativity in marketing?

When creativity is the single most vital element of business and marketing strategy, I’m constantly struck at the lack of imagination, creativity and allegiance to “doing as always” shown by an industry supposedly built on the function of attention-getting.

A Linkedin discussion caught my eye this week with the subject of which question – if you had only one – is the most important to ask in a creative brief.  The responses were hot; there were 50 when I joined in.  It was posted across several boards but I caught it on the Australian Marketing Institute’s board.

The respondents’ titles were impressive; director of this brand, head of marketing for that one, creative director for some agency but what struck me was the distinct lack of imagination shown in some of the responses, from an industry that’s supposedly built on creativity.

While there were a few provocative responses, most of them smacked of same and some were truly laughable (in fact sackable, in my opinion).  Several respondents suggested that asking “who is your target market” was the single most important question.  “What does your product do” made too many appearances to be ignored and it was even suggested that the most important question was – wait for it – “do you have a healthy budget”.  Enough said.

Marketing is as creative an art form as any and marketers should seek to tell stories about their brand or product that engage audiences.  Questions about how much budget do you have, and who’s your target market don’t draw stories out.

When I wrote about the importance of looking beyond the latest killer tactic and getting back to marketing boring, that doesn’t mean pulling the valve on the creative juice tank and letting it all flow down the drain.  You can be wildly off the mark if you market without any consideration of the fundamentals but equally you can’t tell a story and engage an audience without creativity

I don’t know where all the creativity bled out of marketing but I think it’s time for a transfusion.

The most exciting boring you’ll never want to know

Confused?  Don’t be.  This post is about sharing, because I’ve just read the most exciting column so far this year, its central theme was on becoming boring and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Lots of ‘marketers’ these days don’t want to know about this because they want to think of themselves as being at the cutting-edge.  They want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new and exciting ways to use media and creativity to get their brands up and rocking. Make big noise to get quick cut-through.  Not a lot of longer run thinking going on.

They also often act at the expense of fundamentals and this column is exciting because it talks all about them.  They’re too busy trying to be cool and be seen that they miss why they’re there in the first place.

Naturally, social media and digital are where most of this loss-of-focus occurs though not exclusively.  In this column, the writer (Pete Blackshaw) puts forward the very same argument I’ve been banging on about to clients (and anyone who’ll listen in the marketing and communications game) if they’re to make any kind of difference to their brands and the consumers of them.

Read this great column then go back and make sure these things are covered in your marketing strategy.