1.Your concepts stinks 2.they loved it.3 Now what?

One of the curious things about Pharmaland is, given the greatest drug ever, say the cure for all Cancer, the cure for Alzheimer’s or Diabetes, you could literally run a picture of a pig in a pair of knickers and as long as the headline still said “IT CURES ALL CANCER” nobody would care, the campaign would research really well and the agency and marketing people could all slap their colleagues backs in a hearty fashion in the certain knowledge their ‘pig in knickers’ campaign was a wowzer.

Why? well, and this may shock you because all the figures aren’t quite in yet and some of the biometric tests were unclear but….

BECAUSE IT CURES ALL CANCER!!!

Okay, so nice problem to have. I think if there was such a drug you might not have to piss around with big red arrows in the sand or couples on the beach or in fact any creative at all.

So everything between that and say….lemon sherbert is a case of selling versus telling on a sliding creative scale.

How do you actually get a clean read from respondants when researching concepts on a drug that changes the market significantly or a treatment that finally gives some hope for people where there was none.

How do we expect a doctor to concentrate (or indeed give a shit) on whether he likes the concept of the guy hanging upside down from a tree dressed as a lemon or the one with the dolphin that can sing?

You mean this shit cures Diabetes? I love every concept!

So the reverse is also true. The worse the efficacy or differentiation of the drug, the more creative we have to be.

In consumer they rarely get the life changing briefs. It’s all incremental, it’s attitude, it’s about having a fucking conversation with a brand.

In Pharmaland, we actually have something to say.

Whoop.

Of course usually we can’t actually say it. Can’t claim it will do anything that it doesn’t actually have an indication for.

“It may cure that big boil on the end of your knob but there’s no data to indicate this will improve your sex life or increase comfort while trampolining.”

“But surely….”

“Nope”

So on the plus side we have a head start in research for doctors to get excited about the message, providing doctors have an interest in curing knob-boils.

But folks, I am sorry to say that equally, we must draw the conclusion that just because your campaign researched well, it may – creatively speaking – have the aromatic qualities of a love child between Ricky the Racoon and Anne the Anchovy.

Sadly, research success is no guarantee of creativity.

And without creativity, what’s the point of an agency?

 

 

Your Conference stand isn’t an Advert.

It’s easy to see the conference stand as an extension of your Ad campaign.

In terms of marketing and image it might seem indivisible because you have to get them on the stand so you need loud messages to get their attention.

That’s how an ad works right?

Well, if you say so, but your stand isn’t an ad.

It’s a shop.

Think of all your favourite retail brands, those stylish department stores, or the fashion boutiques that entice you in with elegant window designs or places like the Apple store that just exude cool. Do you enter them because of the big messages in the window?

No, the retail seduction is a much more subtle dance.

People are are attracted to simplicity, cleanliness, boldness and yes – even creativity.

This is a place I could hang out for a while you think.

On a stand the dynamic is the same. Delegates step in to the client’s world for a few moments, attracted by the sparkly things and interesting gizmos.

And yet when it comes to a conference we are often asked by clients to put as much messaging and logos as we can to fit the space.

Hang the aesthetics, give me branding.

And that’s okay if you want to be as visible as one of those discount sportwear warehouses.

But do you?

When Steve Jobs decided to launch the apple shops everyone told him he was mad.

applestore

No device manufacturer had ever sold directly to the public, devices were sold via tech shops like Dixons or dept stores like John Lewis.

But Jobs knew that the shops would perform more than one function. Yes, a way to sell more phones and laptops without that third party bias towards their own products, but a shop was also to create a huge presence on the high street, a loud statement of brand and a way to interact with people on a human level via the genius bar.

The response should be: wow I want to go in there, not: look there’s that phone shop.

Remind you of anything in Pharmaland?

And Jobs was meticulous over every detail, sourcing the glass windows from all corners of the earth, making sure the steps flowed in just the right way through the store, making the whole shop an experience.

The shopping experience as a concept, not just a retail outlet.

I sometimes wonder, when the world’s most successful company does something globally successful why everyone else doesn’t just watch, learn and well – copy.

And yet still we stick with what we know, thinking more is more.

Perhaps it’s time for us all to think different.