At 8:20AM I walked down Prince Street this morning on my way into the office and
I'm told Starbucks was there for Appleites, with free coffee and cold water. Great for the Apple brand, great for the Starbucks brand, great for the customer.
This, of course, got me thinking about advertising, brands and more.
There's really one thing you need to know about marketing. It's that brands, or products or people are about experiences, not speeds and feeds or wheels and deals. And Experiences are, I believe, made up of three component parts.
1. There's the service aspect of experience. How well does the brand keep its promises. How do they fix things that break? How do they help me when I need help?
2. There's the functional aspect. How well does the product or service perform? Do I like how the thing works? Does it keep its promises?
3. There's the self aspect of experience. What does using the product or service say about me? Does it make me a richer person emotionally, or physically. More interesting? Cooler? Do I self identify with the product.
Think about those components with regard to Apple, American Express, Nike. Obama. Then think about them in relation to General Motors, Verizon, your agency.
Advertising--and the current Ad Age-generated flap about the importance of award shows like Cannes--too often attempts to make every brand cool, ignoring the inherent intrinsics of a brand. Ergo spots like the Miracle Whip one that I wrote about on Wednesday evening.
Apple, American Express, Nike. Obama are great brands that do great advertising. Their advertising doesn't make them great, rather it reflects their greatness. A lot of not great brands do award-winning advertising that while creatively-recognized is, in reality, bad for the brand because it is false.
These are the things marketers and their agencies should talk about. Not the banality of awards.