Happy Friday! This week our Creative Strategist explains why tactics that pull your audience to your brand might work better than pushing yourself in front of them.
In the age of fake news and WikiLeaks, it’s clear that it’s never been easier to broadcast a message publicly. However, in an increasingly fast paced, information-saturated environment, commanding and maintaining attention is challenging. And unfortunately, this is bad news for anyone planning to launch a product.
Stefan Sagmeister thought he could be happier. He read books about happiness and spoke to psychologists. He tried meditation, dabbled in cognitive behavioural therapy, and threw back antidepressants. The story of his quest for happiness could have been made into a book. It could have been a webpage. Instead, he told the story through an event—an exhibition called The Happy Show.
The Happy Show forced Sagmeister’s story to be told in a three dimensional space. This idea of storytelling in 3D not only changed the game for how Sagmeister had to think about visual communication, but changes the game for brands who attend or set up their own events too.
Your strategy, whether marketing, business, creative, campaign, or brand, is your game plan. It’s what success looks like and what it’s going to take to get there.
Sure, your strategy will involve how you’re going to target your customers and get those all-important conversions. It will say what you’ll be doing, when, and why. But what if we shifted the focus from what we’ll be doing, to what our customers are doing, when they’re doing it, and why?
What does it take to forge a Rembrandt? How about a Coke advert? The first is difficult but not impossible. The second is easier, and is designed specifically to be so. Both share a similarity in that they apply distinct visual systems that can be replicated again and again, depending on whether you know how to do it.
It’s a Thursday morning and I’m scrolling through my Twitter feed. There’s been a scandal. People are outraged. Except it isn’t really a scandal: It’s the announcement of Instagram’s new logo the day before, and now I’m watching a tidal wave of angry spectators flooding social media with their opinions.
The topic of originality is a constant in the design world. From design school, to agency studios, to client meetings, it is a word that is almost guaranteed to surface, causing me to visibly flinch, followed up by a sustained internal scream.
My issue with originality, however, isn’t with the word itself, but the ideology underpinning its usage.
This Snapchat story begins with a burrito.
It was mid 2013 and Taco Bell was making marketing history by claiming their place as the first brand to use Snapchat. Announcing their username via Twitter the brand made a promise that if users added them they would receive a secret announcement via the app.
The following day, those who added Taco Bell were rewarded with a photo of the Beefy Crunchy Burrito, complete with a crude attempt at using the apps draw feature to announce its arrival date. Taco Bell had begun to successfully channel into the conversational, authentic and personable nature of Snapchat, and in doing so found a way to directly connect with their customers in a way that treated them as a friend rather than an end user.
At a basic level, the role of any brief is to explain a project, and understanding the importance of well written briefs can make projects not only run more efficiently, but produce better results from agencies.
Try not to be vague or overcomplicate the writing process. If the agency doesn’t have all the information, or there is any doubt about what the brief is trying to communicate, they will be left with more questions than answers. The more succinct and considered the brief is, the more well informed the agency will be in creating deliverables that not only match, but exceed client expectations.