The Oscar’s of the advertising world just wrapped up in Cannes, France, at the annual Lions Festival. And yes, this is pretty much reserved for agencies who do mind-shattering and budget-busting work on a global scale, although sometimes a renegade start-up can make a big play, too. Regardless of the fact that I will never, ever actually be invited to it, there is still a lot to learn from the leaders of the marketing industry who do get to attend.
This year, Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer at Procter & Gamble, spoke about how the ‘new’ golden age of advertising needs to answer the all-powerful ‘What’s In It For Me’ question for consumers.
Go WIIFM, or go home.
As the lead marketer for the largest consumer goods behomoth on the planet, I feel that Mr. Pritchard knows of what he speaks.
In his keynote address, he offered three rules which will keep marketing on the right path: “One, start with something true. Two, consider why anyone would care. I think the technical term for that is the ‘give-a-crap factor.’ How can you tap into something that people really care about? Three, make your brand matter, because there’s no point in starting a conversation that your brand can’t be an authentic part of.”
The Takeaway: Whether we are marketers working for one corporate brand, or managing many brands as an advertising agency, we have a responsibility to respect the end-consumer’s time and attention and not just throw something out there hoping it sticks.
Thoughtless marketing that relies on worn-out clichés or feeds a senior exec’s ego for big budget productions may get attention, but so will wearing clown shoes to the office. If the message doesn’t move the consumer to make a buying decision, both become just an anecdote within industry news or a funny topic to share during coffee breaks. Good for a few chuckles, quickly forgotten, and yet, no one moved the marketing needle.
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