The past few years in the Nigerian marketing, communications industry has been exciting as the status-quo has become radically bent, with the young seeking to diferentiate themselves from the ‘old masters.' In seeking to be creative for creativity-sake, they fail to encourage clients to create, promote, project, advance and endorse their points of view.
If you have a medium or channel to communicate to people, ensure it has been efficiently and effectively maximised. Aside copying and pasting ads all over the place for your different brands, what, in essence, have you tried to tell the public about your own point of view?
A beer ad campaign, while portraying the glamour of a celebrity lifestyle, can also still have a theme revolving around ‘responsibility.' The new TVC or print ad on the launch of a new Toyota model could go further to promote the awareness of global warming or the green house effect in a refreshingly subtle way. For discerning individuals, they would not only see the Toyota brand being advertised, but will clearly infer the brand's ‘point of view' about environmental degradation.
Now, Toyota might not have actually started producing cars that run on water, but their ad will go a long way in communicating how they are thinking. It will provide a measure of how they would go about things if they were empowered. Your point of view tells a lot about you; your lifestyle, hopes, aspirations, concerns, apathy or dissonance about the world in which we live.
Little wonder then, that brands such as Google, Coca-cola, Swatch, Apple, Ray-ban, Nike, Roca Wear and MTV have continually been defined as ‘cool brands' by teenagers and young adults. They have consistently communicated their points of view - no matter the socio-political and economic intrigues - all the time. And consumers have come to believe in, and associate these positions with their own aspirations and dreams; thus they project the 'ultimate cool' to these consumers. They mean and offer so much more.
If you have been doing something worthwhile in this regard, that is all well and good but, how, more importantly, have you communicated your efforts? By hyping them through media PR, print campaigns and devoting a section to it in your annual reports? For the guy that matters on the street - most importantly your customer - that needs to be inspired, how have you reached him with your scores of billboards and radio sponsored music jams and concerts?
How have you engrained your channel strategy to reflect your point of view? Organisations should naturally become the vanguard of worthy causes. They should be setting the pace and leading the way in such matters. Campaigns should reflect the organisation's thoughts and views about the world; the community; the brand itself, and then, of course, the people that consume these brands. Campaigns should be wholly developed; a build-up from thematic ads, to effectively position your stance.
Within advertising (traditional and alternative media forms) and PR, what other values can we add to the community that we all reside in? How can we use these mediums to showcase our thoughts, norms, and values, and express what we care mostly about? How do we prove, sincerely, that we care?
Before the creative director signs off on that concept, analyse the art direction; check the copy - does that material reflect your brand? Has your point of view been aptly captured? Will your customers take you seriously? Are you in tandem with them, or do you simply want to clear your goods at the depot?