Retelling, reimagining and rebriefing

How much do I love Google’s Project Re:Brief? Let’s just say it’s a lot. What a fantastic idea! If you haven’t heard of it, you should check it out.

It’s pretty simple – they’ve taken some classic campaigns, with some pretty Big Ideas behind them, and worked with some of the key original people to imagine how they could integrate all of the current platforms into the overall campaign. Innovation in media but with a core message that is unchanged. It must have been a killer project to work on.

So far, two films have been released. The first was for Coke’s ‘Hilltop’:

This is a fascinating exploration of technology with the Big Idea of ‘sharing a Coke’ at its heart. As imagined by Harvey Gabor and team, that original idea was social networking before social media enabled it for the masses. Let’s get a big group of people around the world together to sing a song about how they’d like to share a Coke. It’s emotional and it’s incredibly human. I think that made it an excellent candidate for reimagining. The fundamental idea still rings true today, even if the mechanisms used are different (and what great mechanisms, by the way). To me, this is the acid test of a true big idea – its longevity.

The second was for Volvo’s ‘Drive Like You Hate It’:

This approached the idea behind the campaign from a different perspective. Sitting with Amil Gargano, who worked on the original campaign, the team revisited the idea. They distilled the essence of the idea – you could drive Volvo like you hated it and it would still last. So, the natural question was ‘does it last’? And they found someone who could show it did in emphatic fashion, a man with nearly three million miles on his Volvo. Reflecting a human core to the idea, they have been able to utilise Display incredibly creatively to tell that story.

But what I love about both of the instalments thus far – possibly what I love most – is that they don’t let the innovation in technology or in the beautiful way it is visualised obscure the message. Gargano eloquently refuted what Marshall McLuhan’s oft-quoted, ‘The medium is the message.’ Gargano said, ‘The message is the message,’ and ‘Content is what matters.’ I not only fervently believe this, I have seen it to be the case time and again.

Innovation like this is great to witness. At the moment, this type of innovation is top of mind for me and for a lot of us at Ipsos MORI. We’ve been organising what promises to be a really interesting event on ‘(Sp)innovation and the Art of Reinvention’ on 21st March in London. There’s even a speaker from Google. And we’ve put together some great articles about (Sp)innovation as well.  If you’d like to know more or to join us, you can do so here: I, for one, can’t wait to hear more.

Tara is a Research Director at Ipsos ASI, the brand and communications specialists at Ipsos MORI. Follow her on Twitter at @TaraatIpsosASI.

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