Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Its time to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk

There continues to be a building love around the idea and building of brand utilities. Russell has done a great post about how widgets and applications are delivering this for a number of brands as well as the strengths of a number of online applications in general. Including everyones favourite. Nikeplus. It is a huge favourite of mine. I have utilised a lot in presentations and posted about it around a very similar topic before.

I often state that if you look at nike running shoes they address the individuals need of better shoes. Advertising then comes in and utilises slogans like 'Just Do It' to address the emotional need of becoming a better sports person.

In advertising we have highlighted the emotional territory or need for the brand to address but all we do is use it so say stuff. Brand utilities stops the talking and starts the doing. Its a way to activate brands and give them an actionable meaning or role in an individuals lives. A role if delivered correctly, will gain a more emotional meaning and hopefully an emotional attachment to the brand.

You could argue that another brand utility iTunes brought love and connection back to apple. How good would iPods be if there was no iTunes. We will never know. But could be an interesting way of explaining it to clients.

1 comment:

Eamon said...

I agree.

But. I don't think we should go too far with 'brand utility'.

Some brands are almost anti-utilitarian in what they do: Guinness, for example.

Cars are highly technical and expensive things. And yet in the Skoda ad we see car workers making a car out of a cake to 'These are a Few of My Favourite Things' from The Sound of Music. Opel ad with car surfing wave. Etc..

Cadbury's Gorilla ad. Big success in the very heart of the internet and social networking and everything modern. And how far removed is that from 'brand utility.'

Because at the end of the day people are people, from one generation to the next. Dickens dedicated a whole book (Hard Times) to rail against utilitarianism.

I think 'brand utility' will be important (on its own). But I think its real use will come when it is married in some special way, to traditional creative / emtional advertising. How that is going to happen - I have no idea, at the moment. But I think that that will be something interesting to look out for.