Blogging a dead horse?

As you may have noticed in my Super Bowl post the other week, I love a good joke. I love to laugh. I like it when brands can get into the spirit of something in the now and poke a little fun at it. After all, life isn’t all seriousness.

So, I’ve enjoyed the horsing around by the likes of Mini Cooper (Campaign reports here) and Virgin Media’s tongue in cheek apology. They are creative, fun and funny. The other thing that I like about these particular examples is that they are consistent with the brands’ personalities.

Of course, truly great creative is creative that does something for the brand. We know that the brand has to be at the heart of the process of nurturing genuinely great creative. This is about delivering a strong understanding of the consumers and their motivations, about the brand’s link to the bigger idea and about whether or not, at the end of the day, people are inspired to do something or believe something about the brand. So, when responding to current events – humorously or otherwise – brands with a clear sense of their voices come across as most authentic and are often better placed to get a bigger pay-off.

And, as I pointed out a couple of times last year in the context of celebrity and event advertising, this kind of thing is great if you’re at the leading edge of a theme or meme. But it can start to be ‘me too’, not to mention confusing, when there are a lot of examples and jokes. This reduces the power of the creative and its potential impact on the brand. This also has implications for responding to current events, whatever they may be: be distinctive – not just by timing but also by creativity – and you’re more likely to get the pay-off.

At Ipsos ASI, we love creative and creativity. This is the theme of our latest event, taking place in London on Wednesday: Nurturing Great Creative with our guest speaker Martin Weigel. We’ll be talking about how research can be a fertiliser for great creative, not weed killer. If you’re not already signed up, check out the event here, and come along for what promises to be an interesting discussion. I hope to see you there.

Tara Beard-Knowland is a Director at Ipsos ASI. Follow her on Twitter @TaraatIpsosASI.

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