Why ‘solid gold’ ideas win silver medals

By February 25, 2013General, Thought Leadership

Why solid gold ideas win silver medals

Late last week, Hotcow had the pleasure of listening to a great talk from Advertising Creative Steve Henry on the subject of creativity. During the presentation, we discussed why brands usually ask agencies for the ‘big idea’ citing a need to ‘break the mould’ ‘be different’ and ‘stand out’ in a cluttered marketplace.

From an agency point of view, of course we love it when clients give us free reign to re-invent, re-invigorate and re-energise brand communications. Creative teams come alive when they have the freedom to do what they do best and as such, some truly great work is produced.

Yet how many times do we see a truly great concept fall by the wayside, only to discover later on that the winning idea was actually a re-hash of something done the year before.

New branding, new colours, but essentially the same thinking. No sign of that ‘breaking the mould’ concept we were asked to conceive.

So why is that?

The reason is very simple. Fear.

Asking for big creative ideas is quite frankly easy to do (unlike coming up with them!) However, buying into them is another matter entirely. Clients can easily become embroiled in a ‘safety vs ambition’ argument in their heads and whilst their hearts may tell them to go for the big-bold idea, their heads (and spreadsheet) may tell them otherwise.

If a client is unable to convince themselves to take that chance, they will likely vote ‘safety-first’ and, another great idea falls by the wayside.

If we consider for a moment that the ROI in advertising is around 56p/£ (or less) the whole industry is a loss-maker.

Common sense suggests that doing nothing could increase the bottom line in an instant.

Except it doesn’t. We all know that getting brands seen and heard, requires some form of marketing communication, be it experiential a billboard advert or a radio jingle.

We also know that the really successful brands achieve returns far greater than the supposed industry average. It is no surprise that many of the most successful brands are seen as mavericks and embrace the boldest, bravest communications.

They ignore what the competition are doing and instead, concentrate on creating meaningful messages that resonate with consumers. By doing this, they create intrigue and inspiration amongst their target audience.

The payoff? consumers choose brands that break the rules, connect with them on an emotional level and ultimately – they do the voting with their wallets.

At Hotcow, we are constantly looking at ways for clients to achieve more than just ‘good’ – Instead, we choose to focus on creating the ‘great’.

Until brands wake up to the fact that conventional ‘safe’ thinking is holding them back, fortune will continue to favour and reward the brave.

Hotcow is a multi-award winning Experiential Marketing agency. We get brands in front of consumers in ways that persuade them to buy. We fully implement our ideas; nothing needs to be farmed out. For more information or free consultation, contact us

What are YOUR thoughts on brave marketing? Why not tweet us an example? @Hotcow!

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