Do great brand ideas become shackled by advertising?

Hace unos días se planteaban esta cuestión en el blog Adliterate, y el debate ha dado para mucho a partir de una columna que recientemente publicaron en New Media Age. Creo que el análisis que plantean desde Adliterate es muy ilustrador de cómo están los términos de este debate, y me limito a hacer algunas referencias.

Su tesis se resume con unas pocas palabras, pero tiene una potente carga de profundidad: «while a brand idea can never be too big, it may well be too big for advertising». Es decir, y nada menos, parece que el branding tiene más capacidad para gestionar idea complejas o grandes que la publicidad. Para un poco como con el (genial) claim de Skip «las manchas enseñan a vivir»: es puro branding, pero desde Adliterate se preguntan con razón si esa creatividad mantiene la ambición de la publicidad por incrementar las ventas …o no.

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«Big brand ideas are currently big news in marketing land. I mean really big brand ideas, not short-lived creative ideas that sparkle momentarily and then fizzle away as fast as they arrived. Nor one-dimensional advertising ideas that offer tactical responses to specific business issues. But whopping great ‘are you pleased to see me or is that a canoe in your pocket?’ brand ideas».

«Advertising has always liked to see itself as the window onto the brand’s world. That’s what we mean by brand advertising – here is the whole of the brand in forty seconds. And that is why advertising is usually seen as the lead discipline – it’s the one that most succinctly sums up what the brand is all about».

«That was fine when ideas were modest and adcentric, but really potent brand thoughts are often short-changed when forced into the format of an ad. More than this, the desire to communicate the entire brand experience can compromise advertising’s ambition to sell. This is the enduring criticism of the ‘Dirt is Good’ campaign -that the idea is far bigger than can be dramatised in an ad and attempts to do so have not converted into sales».

«Maybe it is time to free advertising from the need to represent the entirety of the brand idea and recognise that other disciplines are capable of doing this in a richer and more rewarding way. In particular it is time to recognise that for many brands it is their online experience that should be delivering the big brand idea in all its technicolour glory. After all advertising, whether analogue or digital, is always sharper when it has latched onto a specific business problem rather than wafting around conjuring up beautiful brand worlds».

Y los comentarios que se han ido reproduciendo al hilo de este post mantienen un debate que he tratado de sintetizar:

«I think that in consumers’ minds big ideas are too big for any one brand to own and planners need to be really clear about the desired relationship between the brand and the idea». Dominic S-M

«The power of the idea is in the execution». Phil Teer

«I work with both a recruitment marketing agency and a conventional advertising agency and one of the things that I’ve always found intriguing is that companies rarely bridge the gap between ‘brand communications’ and ‘organisational/HR communications’ for want of a better description». Carlm

«The instructive paradox is this: the brands that planners really admire (Innocent, Apple, Nike, Starbucks) do not and have never needed Planners to tell them what they’re about. And the brands that Planners actually get to work on (the Vodafones, HSBCs, and BTs of the world) do not and will never care about any of this high-falutin’ brand stuff anyway». Sir Winston