In today’s post, I share with you an article on showstopper executions written by the Research Director of Omnicom Media Group Philippines.
Want A “Showstopper” Execution?
Dan Ryan Catalan
A “showstopper” that’s what you call an advertising execution that is sweeping off the feet of many advertising practitioners. It’s a sensational feat for an advertising agency for its brainchild to create public buzz or trend online. It’s the kind of execution that gets told over and over, even a decade after as reference for best ad-campaign practices.
Given a thousand ways to skin a cat, the “best way” for some advertising practitioners is the most “innovative”, most “creative”, most “revolutionary” and other synonymous buzzwords in the advertising vocabulary. Why not, even marketing practitioners can’t help but to marvel and be envious of these ingenious executions paraded in mass media.
On the flipside, it is also these coveted wows, which trigger to jump the gun on executions. With so much excitement on a spontaneous idea, there is a tendency to pre-empt the planning process. In some cases, the execution becomes a blinder, rendering the insights and strategic process as mere support or embellishment, and worse, a pro-forma.
Nonetheless, seasoned communication experts can discern. Omnicom Media Group CEO, Nic Gabunada explains… “Off-hand, it won’t be fair to discount the creative process that agencies go through. But it makes you think when the execution starts outshining the brand. You may praise the agency that came up with the brilliant execution, but the brand ends up with the shorter end of the stick”. He adds, “You can tell if the campaign is about awards or if it’s an authentic brand communication.” This happens with advertisers naively falling into the game, too eager to be the brand that comes up with “next-in-thing”.
It is no secret that the process involving a total communications plan is long and arduous. It involves multiple translations of thoughts—from consumer behaviour and brand equities to insights, from brand strategy to a creative material, from a creative handle to a media idea, from a media idea to executions. Many times, the brand or marketing objectives get lost in translation.
Here are five nifty tips that marketing practitioners can employ to keep executions on track:
- Wear Your Brief Tightly: Keep the brief printed and on-hand in every meeting and brainstorming session to keep tab of the brand objectives.
- Be The Consumer: Compose your insight statements or insight setup for your advertising concepts, personally expressed from the target market’s point of view. Of course, insights do not normally come straight from a consumer’s mouth, but stating the insights in the first person’s point of view will keep you consumer-oriented on your next steps.
- Walk forward: Working backwards starting from creative executions to consumer insight and brand objectives is a force-fit, and would not likely bring about a genuine consumer connection. Insights about the brand and consumer should be the core of a strategy, not a creative idea.
- Involve the Brand: Always include the brand in crafting your strategy or concept statements. This should ensure that the brand is the focus of the plan or strategy.
- Visualize the Media Idea / Strategy: Creative handles are sometimes difficult or impractical to translate to media executions. Planners need to express the communication objective in an actionable/execution-oriented media idea. However, this can steer one away from focusing on the brand. Hence, a media idea or strategy statement should be supported by a “media concept”. This concept articulates a clear vision on how the brand and its message will travel through different channels and reach the consumers effectively.
Impressive executions may be an advantage in cutting through the media clutter and amplifying brand messages, but an execution that is hollow on strategy and insight will be short in offering something substantial for the audience to sink their teeth into.