Monthly Archives: June 2012

Anatomy Of An Insight: Nike Barbershop

How do you know an ad gots a good insight?

When you see it, you find it so obvious that you nearly start beating yourself in the head, because you hadn´t used it before. I bet I wasn´t the only one with that reaction when I saw this Balotelli ad.

The main Nike Euro Film was great in all its megalomaniac glory and secret tunnels, but I appreciated the subtle irony in this Nike Barbershop ad & Facebook app.

The insight is simple: footballers have stupid personal-looking hairdos.

The better footballer, the more odd hairstyle. Or you do not even have to be so good, you should be remembered at least from your hair. I remember my first favourite player was Maradona (cool hair) then Ruud Gullit (even cooler hair), Valderrama (The most epic hair ever) and then Cantona (Ordinary hair, but super cool collar). Balotelli is not my favourite player, but he definitely holds it own on the hairdo front.

Good insight is someone that everyone knows, but no one has dared to use it yet.

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Professional Madness

What separates advertising industry from every other business?

We are not duplicating our previous successes.Instead of consulting company who finds a good way to work around certain problem and then duplicates it to the other clients as many times as possible. The business model is that the every new iteration of the same project requires much less working resources, but the selling value is quite the same.

Like John Hegarty said, we do not have a warehouse full of great ads. We start from the scratch every single time.Your past successes only prove that you have had success before. It is not an indicator of the future success.

That is why you seldom get bored in a good advertising agency. Every project is a completely new challenge and you are trying to come up with something completely new. It is challenging and rewarding. It is also one of the reasons why even the best agencies do not hit home runs every single time. Coming up with a typical solution is similar as failure.

From traditional business perspective it is complete madness, of course.

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No Digital Strategy

I had this presentation couple of months ago in Finland talking about the need of having digital in the core of your business and not as a separate unit.
Actually this presentation has quite bittersweet tone for me because the organizer of the event went bankrupt and I only got like 30% of my speaking fee. First time that ever happened.
Well hopefully you enjoy this:
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What is Stand-up Strategy?

First of all, I am quite sure that I have not come with the term myself. I must have heard it somewhere. Do not remember whom, so I just stole it as a name for my blog. If you are offended, then poor luck. This is advertising after all.

Stand-up strategy does not mean that it is necessarily funny, although you have to have certain kind of humor to be in this business.

Instead for me stand-up strategy is about these five things:

1. Standing up instead of sitting down.

Marketing strategists and planners have got themselves in trap.

We, as a profession, have been on a road to just become poor man´s management consultants. We have tried to complicate things, instead of simplifying them. We have estimated our value of the number of slides we have made or how thorough creative brief we have done. Those things do not matter.Only thing that matters is the quality of the work and the bottom line of the company.

We have to get out from the computer to meet the people, find the insights and understand the behavior of the people who might someday be the customers.

So get of your seat and start doing things.

2. Intuition and point-of-view is what separates you from others.

Google has replaced the average planners.

There was a time when information was scarce and planner could make himself worthwhile by just having the access to information. Those days are long gone. Information is abundant and nearly everyone has the access to the same information channels.

That is why the Planner has to stand up and tell also what he feels and what is his point-of-view.  Not saying that there is a shortcut for digesting all the information. We have to do our homework more than ever.

Read blogs, magazines, books.Watch movies, tv & documentaries. Talk with colleagues, peers, consumers & influenceres.

But those are just starting point. Having the information is only about competitiveness of today´s planner. Competitive advantage comes from your point-of-view. That is the biggest asset you have and you have to cultivate it.

After careful evaluation of all the information & data, act on your gut-feeling.

3. Planning is translating business to creativity.

Planning is a service function. You provide the springboard for creatives for the creative leap. You help account executives to sell more. Only thing tangible what is left from our work is well-performing company financially and creatively. People can live with incomplete creative brief, but they cannot leave with incomplete creative product.

Good planner is a bipolar person. He gots kicks out of creativity. He also gots kick out the business side of things. Usually he has had a hand on both of these crafts. Planning is the most rewarding but the least-respected craft in advertising. Are you ready to take on the task?

Do not trust planner who has not sold a project or not done an ad. 

4. Combining insight & behavior is the key to the success.

How many fresh new insights have there been in beer category lately?

It is still crucial to find the soul of the brand and go as deep to the customer´s head as possible. However, you cannot just push your message nowadays and hope to spark some kind of emotion. You have to lure your brand to everyday life of the people. I do not understand the separation between traditional and digital planners. If planner does not understand digital channels nowadays, he or she should be out of job. And same goes to otherwise, knowing all the latest social media channels is worthless if you do not have the knowledge of the good old art of persuasion. Even though technology has evolved we as a people are driven by quite simple things. Such things as sex, greed & jealousy.

You have to know how customer feels and how he behaves.

5.We have to reinvent this whole ad agency stuff.

I hate silos. That is why this whole departmental thinking of account-creative-planning is quite absurd for me. Our business is quite simple if you think about. We are on the quest of finding the emotional connection of the brand and consumer, which on the long run will concretize in the cash register.

Lee Clow put it great:

“We’re supposed to be a creative business, but I think we have been probably the least creative industry in the history of the world in terms of figuring out how to get paid.”

We have to think about deeper how we operate and how we make profit in the future. The collaborator who works closest with the brand, will be succeeding in the future. Will it be an advertising agency is left to be seen?

Learn the history, to know all the rules you are going to break.

These are my rules and if you do not like them I have some others as well.

From this standpoint I will be writing my observation from the industry and the future of planning and advertising as well. Welcome aboard.

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