Monday, 26 January 2015

Developing an ad campaign in 2015

I had moved out of the advertising industry to dabble a bit in marketing and then consulting only to gravitate back to what I do best and truly enjoy doing. Working on a large advertising project after five years, I realised how much things have changed since I was last a part of this industry. To enumerate a few:

1. Seconds are passe, minutes are in
I remember the time when the creative team would throw tantrums about an extra 5 seconds without which they just could not tell the story in a meaningful way. The fight continues. But now the struggle is for an extra minute or two!

2. Collaboration is in
For a campaign to work really well in the modern world, it is no longer good enough to have an art and copy duo. At the very least, a creative team needs film makers, music directors, social media experts. While the core team conceptualises the idea keeping the brand pillars in mind, the other experts need to come on board much before the PPM stage to ensure the story is crafted keeping the current content consumption trend in mind. 

3. What’s the campaign hashtag?
Whether one has  a print rendition of the campaign idea or not, a hashtag is a must! A campaign without a hashtag is like a telephone without a dial. Incomplete as hell! (I wish we were spending a little more time in the hashtag strategy.) 

4.  Will it get shared?
While you develop the campaign, apart from ensuring that the campaign aligns with the brand and category pillars, one needs to keep asking, will it get shared? Being ignored on social media is a fate worse than death!

5. What’s a couple of crores?
I hear these days, film production runs into multiple crores for a single execution. While I have not yet had the good fortune of working on a project of such magnitude, I am really looking forward to working on one before the party gets over.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

'Just what do you do young lady?'

The other day an aunt asked what I did for a living. I replied that I help people fall in love. She gave me a perplexed look and walked away, mumbling something about new age career choices and so on. Ah well, no. Mine is not a 'new age career choice'. In fact, it is known to be the world's second oldest profession and I have about seventeen years of experience doing what I do. 

In my second stint in advertising, I have decided to view my profession differently. The job of a brand strategist is not to help companies sell their wares but to help people find love in their kitchens, garages, bars, banks, wardrobes and even in their bathrooms. I believe that when we fall in love, justifications be damned, we find our own reasons to reach out for the brand again and again. We want to stand on the rooftops and shout out loud about it. What's more, we overlook every flaw and make others too find a reason to love what we love. If it is not love, what else explains the queue outside Apple store hours before the latest offering is put on the shelves or people's willingness to pay 300% premium for a cup of coffee?

So, wish me luck as I jump into the next 360 days of helping people find love in their coffee cups, hair oil bottles and even financial investments.