Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Difference is the way to go

I really didn’t want to go for yesterday’s D&AD event – it’s deadline, I still had a story to file and I was dressed in my best deadline-comfortable attire (read: shabby).

I was glad I went though, because I was blown away -- especially by Garrick Hamm’s talk right from the word go. It carried the dubious title of Inspirational talk on Creativity (I’m always cautious when it comes to titles that border on promising too much – it always hurts when presenters fail to meet the high expectations they’ve set up). But Garrick (that's him below) delivered.

For starters, he opened his presentation by offering an answer to the perennial question: how can creatives get clients to approve a creative idea? Bearing in mind I don’t have much space here, I’ll cut to the chase: show them the money. Because frankly, while they can argue with your creative idea, they can’t argue with results, facts and figures. And by results, it means increasing sales and profits into the double digit figure region.

The essential problem Garrick says, is that brands look too much alike. You line up all the bread brands available in Singapore and they’ll most probably look more or less the same, right? That’s the danger because that means there’ll be no brand loyalty and consumers can wander between the brands without having much of a connection. Why do brands look the same then? Because everybody copies each other, and during the brainstorming process, everybody comes up with the same vocab of how they want their brand perceived. Who doesn’t want their brand seen as being quality, value, and healthy? Not being different and not thinking differently will result in everyone getting the same results.

The solution, Garrick believes, lies in finding a brand truth and capturing it in a way that is unique and different, and he illustrated what he meant by showing numerous examples of what his agency, WMH, did for clients and in the process increasing their sales and profits. The end line he was putting across at the end of the session: “By doing something different, sales for (I forgot the name of this brand) went up 20%, we made them an extra £90m in profit. Difference is the way ahead. That’s one of the answers to the question of how do you get creativity through. You start to show them profits like that, you start to show them that actually not doing anything risky means that you’re never going to increase your sales,” Garrick said. What difference also means is you don’t deal with one digit growth, you deal in two. “That’s really what design and advertising should be about, really delivering significant growth.” Power stuff.

Garrick’s 6 tips to getting a client to approve a creative idea

1. Difference. Create something that is unique to your clients, something that they can own.
2. Focus.
3. Bravery. We all need brave clients.
4. Judgement. Insight – Garrick doesn’t believe that the consumer is going to show the future, that’s the job of the advertiser. Consumers show where the gap in the market is.
5. BIG ideas.
6. A good idea=good business (profits and sales).


KOOKY said...

Oh, man! Is he coming to KL? Someone get him here. Thanks for the summary for us Singaporean folks in KL.

smallbot said...


I agree with Garrick Hamm that the bottom line is of most importance...but then again it depends how marketeers steer their prospects or bosses. If you look at LG, all their ads used to look like a Carrefour promotional Ad, according to past MD they were making huge sells, but not connecting with their audience...the clever marketeer managed to convince them otherwise...and as a result now consumers don't feel they are buying a cheap phone anymore or cheap TV....same rule apply to Samsung..not sure I would give away my world cup tickets though..lol

Would love for Ikea to spend their much gained cash and slash it out on the green carpet of EQ Ads, Ikea is certainly not cheap!and I feel duped everytime I go to their so called super sale...I don't want a breitling watch in a Mcdonalds bag thank you! (although IKEA not breitling la!..but price so high lo)

But then again with a nation that focuses more on the dollar and with censorship restrictions lower marketing budgets compared with companies based in Europe, you could argue..why change?..
One example is PizzaHut UK which are willing to spend gazillions for an Ad featuring Mr. Bill Murray and Damonhill both F1 historical figures eating pizza...the singapore team had to come up with an equally creative with the couple mini series. The one where a guy and girl go to the restaurant and the guy had something fall out of his wallet and the consumers were asked to sms what was on the picture...I would love to know which one made more sales....

Adding to Garrick Hamm’s Talking about brands being similar,I remember when Maurice Saatchi spoke about "one word marketing" and only the boldest of ideas will stand out.

In an interview with FT.com, he said: "The latest developments in neuroscience indicate that a teenager today, who has grown up in a multi-channel, digital environment, processes messages in a different way to his parents.

His brain is physically different. It has rewired itself. It responds faster. It sifts out. It recalls less. This is what makes it possible, apparently, for a modern teenager in the 30 seconds of a normal TV commercial, to take a phone call, send a text, receive a photo, play a game, download a music track, read a magazine and watch commercials at X6 speed. They call it CPA, Continuous Partial Attention".

He went on to say "So the challenge to the advertising industry is to find a way through. My contention is that only the most brutally simple ideas stand a chance. In fact, I argue that the future of advertising, whatever the technology, will be to associate each brand with one word. This is one word equity. It’s the modern equivalent of having the best site on the high street, except the location is in the mind: Like google, pizzahut, Apple and others.

Would there be any way for Marketing Mag to ask Garrick Hamm’s opinion on this? has anyone done a survey on this?


aliroger.com said...

TRUE b DIFFERENT. JUZ make it STAND out from the crowd. Then people will notice and remember your brand and may b get emotionally attached to it. Tats when u get brand loyalty duh

Tats how aLiRoger is gonna do it. We gonna b DIFFERENT and we're coming to market:)

------------------> aLiRoger.com