Thursday, March 08, 2007

Coffee with Saatchi's head strategist, Brenda Kassir

D: What's the greatest proposition of all time...

B: Woman don't buy lipstick, they buy hope. Revlon

D: Could you argue that a proposition like that is the antithesis of that supporting the dove campaign for real beauty? i.e 'Hope to be' Revlon vs.. 'just be' Dove?

B: The Dove campaign is tapping into another equally true insight. It is a reaction to years of fashion and cosmetic campaigns which give women an unrealistic image to aspire to.

Both brands appeal to women with different psychographics and needs.

Great brands create a need or fulfill an unmet one. Both Revlon and Dove have carved their niche.

D: You talk about dove carving a new niche, quite typical of this day and age, does more choice at the hands of the consumer mean less loyalty? Or will familiarity remedy excessive choice?

B: On this point I agree with Mark Earls. We behave as if the 'brand' were a tangible thing that exists separate from ourselves - a monstrous deity that demands complete obedience and regular feeding. We create a 'brand world' and assume that people have intense relationships with the products and services we sell. We spend all our energies and time philosophizing on the 'brand essence' and the 'brand triangle' and the 'brand meaning' and 'brand onions'.

A brand is a function of what people have experienced in the past. In reality, most products people buy are low involvement and people will buy the products they have in the past which suit them because of price, distribution, word of mouth, habit, the brand promise etc.

The moment something changes (either in consumers lifestyle circumstances e.g they get wealthier or poorer; or the introduction of a better alternative; or if the brand lets them down; or if they simply get bored because the brand has failed to innovate in product terms or in its image) they can easily change brands. Simple as that. Choice is a great thing. Brands that fail to stay innovative and fail to have a point of view on the world will lose out.

D: So where do the traditional agencys of today fit in tomorrow? The generation C phenomenon saw less agencys hands in superbowl ads this year, consultants are now weaving there way into branding, the plethora of web 2.0 superbrands like eBayYouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia have basically said 'who the hell needs an image when you got engagment'. All in all the new markcom paradigm isn't looking too good for us is it?

B: I think that whilst web 2.0 is opening up the way we use media (and web 4.0 will be even more powerful), it is no substitute for solid, long term brand thinking and creativity that comes out of a truly deep understanding of a brand and the collective psyche. I don't care much for one-off ads and short lived brand strategies. The result is a fad, rather than a long lasting brand idea.

I think we gave up a lot of ground when we decided to get specialised, I liken it to trying to complete a jigsaw without all the pieces of the puzzle. The most fulfilling and effective campaigns are the ones where all elements work together - consumer insights, media strategy, creativity, CRM, PR. In this context, youtube and myspace are just another part of a strong marketing mix.

D: Could you give us a couple of your favorite examples of strategies that ran themselves nicely across both old & new media? Any from the region?

B: Saatchi & Saatchi's work for Folgers coffee is a brilliant insight into waking up or being able to 'tolerate mornings' better with Folgers. It showed a great understanding of the target market (early 20's) not only in terms of its tone of voice and message takeout, but also the integrated media used - print, viral, ambient.

The work done for Telecom New Zealand for the launch of video capabale mobile phones (which enabled people to make and send films on their mobile phones) is another well integrated, and innovative campaign. The campaign objective was to encourage people to start using the video service by driving them to a web site competition for people to create their own films. Advertising for the web site and new video service comprised TV, blogs, sampling, internet.

Regionally, I think the work we do in this region for Red Bull is world class. We bring to life the 'Red Bull gives you wiings' spirit and philosophy in a regionally relevant way through the use of now famous events (E.g Flugtag and Air race), sponsorships, TV, print, ambient and digital.

D: Bren as always it's been great chatting with you, you are without a doubt one of our favourite guests. Many thanks.


Anonymous The the said...

great discussion,love the tolerate mornings Brenda!

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On good examples of integration in the region, I would like to add Snickers work by BBDO and Mediavest...don't stop.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ll go with apple’s creative tools for creative people. Simple, sweet, both consumer and product centric.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Interesting responses to very interesting questions by X. The Revlon Vs Dove was a nice perspective.

Aren't there more examples of strong 360-degree strategy other than Red Bull? There must be... one hopes...

copywriter, journalist, ad blogger

5:08 PM  
Anonymous ish said...

great answers brenda.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think some of GMs work have shown spurts of integration, their latest campaign Robots was translated into something better on the web... than on TV,

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Ayasha said...

Interesting blog, glad I came across it. My favorite tag ever is Apple's 'Think Different'.

4:26 PM  

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