Posts Tagged 'simplicity'

More Than Creativity, Advertising Is About Business

Dave Trott is a true master of common sense: he has a knack of explaining things you (thought you) already knew, in ways that help you understand them in a totally new light.

I learned so much from this talk he gave a while back at the APG that I feel compelled to share the whole thing here.

It’s an hour or more long, but make time to watch it all – sit down with a drink and give it your full attention.

And take notes – I guarantee you’ll want to refer back to things. I took so many notes, I ran out of space in my notebook.

Take it away Dave.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 8 [there doesn’t appear to be a part 7]

Part 9

Part 10

Thanks very much to Gwen for introducing me to this great talk

engagement of hearts

I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t enjoy a good magic show.

Just like comedy, it’s one of those things that seems to work every time.

But magic is special; it inspires a level of engagement that’s unmatched by other kinds of entertainment.

Much of this is doubtless because great magicians are also great showpeople, but a key element is that people always want to know how the magic is performed.

They want to know the secrets behind the tricks.

Of course, once the secret is revealed, the trick loses all its power – mystery and intrigue are central to magic’s magic.

So, while transparency and openness are vital parts of building trust, make sure it’s only of the ‘sleeves rolled up’ variety.

If you want to keep people interested over the longer term, you need to keep the real magic a secret.

Thanks to The Next Web for the video

always learning, never failing

Learn from your mistakes and you’ll never fail.

Simple.

get up and go

The clip below has been around for a while, but I’ve finally worked out why it impresses me so much.

It leaves no room for excuses.

You just can’t opt out.

“Just Do It” is the starting motivation, but this makes sure you keep going.

In so doing, it builds the brand and drives behaviour at the same time.

Inspiring.

the essence

so king obvious

This new Burger King spot is a moment of genius.

It’s irresistible.

You just have to copy it.

Over and over again.

Especially with your friends.

A great example of how to inspireword of mouth‘.

Great stuff.

Many thanks to @handypearce over at amnesiablog for sharing.

shared happiness

Tiago has been sharing so much great stuff recently, I’m in danger of duplicating his Cultural Fuel stream here, but this clip was too good to miss.

It’s such a simple concept: take the brand benefit, exaggerate it, and bring that exaggeration to life.

The reach of the activity itself probably wasn’t huge, but the video has achieved over 400,000 views on YouTube in its first week.

Perhaps it’s true: reality is more engaging.

I wonder if the same concept would have achieved as many views if it had been produced as a traditional TVC.

Lovely stuff from the guys at W+K.

smoke signals

Success isn’t about channelsit’s about connections.

So don’t limit yourself to ‘media’.

Success is much more about where, when, and how to engage.

Thanks to Tiago over at Cultural Fuel for sharing the clip

rethinking success

Happy New Year!

Did you start 2010 with a fresh set of objectives?

Grow profits; drive revenues; increase the margin.

Do you have any objectives that aren’t about making more money than you made in 2009?

Defining success

When it comes to measuring success, we often make comparisons to the past.

Companies look at how profits changed relative to previous periods.

Individuals might compare their earnings to previous roles.

Even charities look at the changes in donations received.

By most definitions, we haven’t succeeded unless we’ve grown, and in business, this invariably relates to financial growth.

Indeed, financial growth is often a business’s primary objective, to the extent that any gains are reinvested to generate yet more growth in the next period.

But why are we so obsessed with growth?

Growth vs. greed

In nature, the drive to grow is instinctive: we need to reach a certain size to survive and procreate.

However, unrestrained growth brings dangerous consequences: excess leads to obesity, slowing us down and compromising our health.

In the good times, this doesn’t matter too much, because there’s enough to go round.

But, eventually, excess becomes unsustainable: over-consumption results in scarcity of resources and intense competition.

When this happens, the obese are most at risk: their size makes it harder for them to secure food and escape predators.

They face a stark choice: redress the balance, or die.

Survival of the fittest

This pattern is obvious in nature, but we often miss the parallel in business.

However, just like animals, brands can’t continue to grow indefinitely: eventually, they either reach a healthy equilibrium, or they exhaust all the available resources and die.

Faced with that choice, the decision seems simple.

Sometimes, though, scarcity occurs quite suddenly.

Just a few years ago, newspapers were enjoying those ‘good times’.

Then, out of nowhere, a fitter species appeared and gobbled up all their resources.

Sadly, the newspapers were too obese – too complacent, too cumbersome, too bloated – to react in time.

Now they’re starving, on the brink of extinction.

Their demise holds a lesson for us all.

Fit for purpose

The trick to avoiding newspapers’ fate is stay fit and healthy.

One way to do this is to avoid excessive growth.

So, if your objectives for year ahead are based purely on growth, challenge them.

What’s all that growth for?

And what will you do when you achieve it?

All too often, the euphoria of achieving a growth goal quickly gives way to a desire to outdo yourself again.

It becomes a never-ending cycle; increasing the number becomes the only thing that matters.

But there’s got to be more to life than numbers.

We need to remember the real benefits that growth was supposed to bring.

What would success look like if you couldn’t grow anymore?

Better, not bigger

Most New Year’s resolutions relate to health and fitness.

Perhaps it’s time we set similar business resolutions too.

I’d like to start the year with a challenge:

Why not set one objective for 2010 that has nothing to do with financial growth?

How about play rises instead of pay rises? More time to do the things that feed your souls, not just your bank balances (think Google’s 20%).

Perhaps you could initiate pro bono work for issues you really care about? Rather than waiting for someone to ask you, just get on and do it.

Or, why not take on an intern and actually help them to learn useful skills? With a bit of guidance, enthusiastic graduates can do much more than just make coffee and photocopies, and you’ll feel rewarded too.

Whatever you decide, one thing will make achieving your goal easier:

Stop measuring your success by comparing yourself to others.

Innovate, don’t imitate.

It’s much easier to succeed when you write your own rules.

Good luck, and best wishes for a happy and fulfilling 2010!

ahead of the game

The ‘life’s a game’ concept is nothing new, but it seems to be particularly resonant at the moment.

Russell describes what I’m feeling beautifully in this great excerpt from his epic playful post*:

“Just like when I walk through the crowds on Oxford Street a tiny part of me is pretending I’m an assassin slipping steely-eyed through the crowds in order to shake the agents on my tail. And I bet it’s not just me. I’m not saying I’m massively deluded, just that, very often, some bit of us is always trying to play those games, to make mundane things more exciting.”

It’s one of those lovely insights that could translate really well into brand activity.

And this Nike spot hits that sweet spot beautifully:

It works because it’s engaging – even if it’s only in your own imagination.

* Yes, I know I’ve linked to it about 10 times already. But there’s a reason for that: it’s wonderful. If you haven’t read it already, I thoroughly recommend taking a look now. Thanks to Neil at Welcome to Optimism for sharing the Nike clip.





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