25 Mar 2010

A heady dose of Diesel

Some time back I'd posted on the new 'Be Stupid' campaign by Diesel. I agree it's a bold and provocative plank. But to be honest, I think it overstepped an invisible line somewhere. Not in thought. Not in execution. But in expression.

Then again, if there's one thing more true about advertising than any other profession, it has got to be that... Nothing is 100% right - or wrong!

That bring me to a well thought-out Case Study from the "Common blog of the Web Communication Unit of the European Parliament". (Yes, you heard that right!)

There are several completely plausible explanations in there that makes the writer's arguments about why the campaign is "remarkably well conceived". So much so, that I almost believe him.

However, there were three points in his conclusion that I completely, unhesitatingly agree with:
1. [...] A good campaign is not designed by a committee, as they say. Nothing good has ever been designed by a committee, for that matter.

In other words, avoid group-think. It only serves to dilute ability, and accountability!

2. [...] Do not hesitate to segment your audience. Find a target group and stick to it. Accept the fact that you cannot talk to everyone at the same time.

This trick works both ways - for businesses as well as those who advertise for them. If you are trying to get your brand / product / service to appeal to everyone, then rest assured that it will appeal to no-one in particular!

3. [...] Work on your claim before everything. Once you have the claim, don’t change it.

Ah! The corollary... It basically tells advertisers and agencies to expend time and resources (and research) on arriving at a unequivocal answer to the question: "What's in it for the customer?". And to then grow a pair, and stick with it. (Stick with the claim, that is.)

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