Quilting bee

I come from America’s heartland, so I’m familiar with, if not experienced in creating, hand-items and the good old country look. My grandmother is a quilter and indeed I have one of her quilts at home, which she made for me from fabric I chose. The one she made for me is beautiful. But, to be honest, perhaps not in tune with the more historical type of quilting, which is to take many varied pieces of fabric – often fabric connected in some way to an emotional experience – and bond them together to create a beautiful whole (even if part of the fabric is a double knit monstrosity from 1975).

You might, quite fairly, be wondering what this has to do with advertising or content; or if you’ve stumbled into some sort of crafting site by accident. Has our blogger gone mad or has her brain been transported to another dimension?

I hope not.

I think quilting is a good metaphor for the world of brands and communications in this day and age. At Ipsos ASI we get questions everyday from our clients about the effectiveness of campaigns with lower spend, about how to create reach with digital, about, in fact, quilting together many different bits – some a little rough around the edges – into one overall picture. A little bit of social here, a little bit of print there, add a square or two of pre-roll and maybe a little strip of TV around the outside.

As with quilting, the key to being able to do this well is to ensure that there is a strong bond. In advertising, this means big ideas built on a solid foundation insights about the target audience. The campaigns that generate the most pay-off are paying into an overall strategy, not a flash in the pan. So, even if an idea seems off the wall everyone knows that it is, indeed, true to what the brand is now or at least to what it wants to be in the future.

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

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