Wednesday, April 13, 2016
We gotta have a Movement.
There was a time in advertising --uh-oh, old man on warpath again -- when the goal was to move the merchandise. If we can help the client raise sales figures 3%, 7.1% or 9.4%, we were doing our job. And doing it well.
And barring the hiring of a new Chief Marketing Officer, we could expect to be retained for another torturous year.
Then, someone got it in their head that we needed to "engage" the consumer.
Through the magic of social media we could have ongoing "dialog" with the people buying our enamel-strengthening toothpaste or twice-baked wheat crackers.
If we reached them with enough touchpoints, the thinking goes, we could actually have a long-lasting, meaningful "conversation" with the folks who wipe their asses with our 4-ply quilted toilet paper.
But that was not sufficient.
Soon, we were asked to go "viral".
Write, craft, design and cobble together a long form video -- with $80,000 -- that once uploaded onto a free YouTube channel, will spread like wildfire and threaten to dethrone Justin Bieber or that cello-playing cat.
A tall order.
But not the tallest.
Because now there is rarely a brief that crosses my desk, and when I say desk I mean picnic table set up for the freelancers, or pops up in a pdf via email, when I'm lucky and get to work at home, that does not include the delusional instructive to "create a worldwide movement."
You see it's not enough that we sell more Craftsmen Staple Guns or Toyota Scions or Arby's French Dip Manwiches, now it's our responsibility to turn those converted sales into brand evangelists.
To get them off their duffs and into the streets. Marching with uncontainable enthusiasm and nothing more important to do with their time than to get others onboard and spread the love of their new Hefty Stretchable Trash Bags.
It simply defies all manner of logic and common sense.
It has taken me 20 years and I still can't convince my daughters to make their beds or put the dishes in the dishwasher. But now, and for no apparent reason, you want me to persuade people that your new Parkay Butter is so good and clings to bread so well, they should eat their toast upside down?
And you want me to do it with a 76X128 banner ad?
I'll show you where I'm at in 6 hours.