Never before in the history of mankind have we been inundated by so much information. Thanks to the world wide web, the sheer volume of it is staggering. Between tweets, blog posts, news sites, advertising, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Stumbleupon and of course all the news that comes to us offline, it’s a miracle people still have time to perform their jobs.
Like it or not, that’s the big picture your brand is facing when you begin to think about crafting your message. Somehow, you still have to come up with an idea that will capture the attention of your target. If you just want to brag about your product benefits, you don’t stand a chance. Likewise, if there’s no core element of surprise, humor or high entertainment value – you may as well fold up your tent and go home.
How far are brands willing to go today to break through the clutter? Here are two current examples. The first is from an Italian Insurance company called Life Park. Last week, they staged an ‘accident’ where it looked like a submarine had burst up from under the pavement – in downtown Milan. According to Policymic, the incident proceeded to ‘explode across social media in Italy’. In other words, people noticed.
If this seems a bit crazed to you, keep something in mind. The category is insurance. Nobody cares about insurance – until they really need it. In order to make news, you have to be very bold. Perhaps there’s a lesson for your brand here as well?
Next is a new campaign for Dodge Durango from Chrysler. They decided to roll the dice and give creative control entirely to Will Ferrell. I’ve been in marketing a long time, and I’ve never heard of a client saying to the on-camera talent ‘OK, you decide what’s best’. Maybe back when Spike Lee was hired to direct and star in a series of Nike spots. But that was a long time ago.
Here’s a litmus test for today. Think about what captures your attention. What kind of advertising or marketing content have you shared in the past week? That’s the kind you need to be creating. Or, you can simply accept that your brand won’t be talked about. And before very long, there won’t be very many customers left either.