The devil is in the details. Take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves. Think small. All good common-sense cliches. But what happens when you have a nation armed with microscopes rather than telescopes? Especially when it comes to advertising.
You’ll notice a difference, but will you notice a big change?
At Designate, we like to keep our eyes on the horizon as well as the road in front.
Tom Goodwin of Tomorrow Group wrote this excellent article on the state of play in advertising today. He talks about the death of agencies and creativity, with the obsession with digital being used for ever smaller and ever-decreasing micro-targeted audiences. He talks of keeping long-tail audiences of hundreds or low thousands happy rather than millions.
Tech is taking us down an ever narrower path. Shiny new things are constantly being developed. Some will transform lives and businesses and lead consumers, and the leading edge, tech-driven entrepreneurs are driving this. These guys, whether they are in Silicon Valley or not, are thinking of solutions to problems none of us knew we had. And they are doing it at an exponential rate. So the distraction factor is accelerating at the same rate. The shiny new things are also nicely attributable. Marketers can instantly put a value on a click, no matter how small. There’s an inherent conservatism to searching for small audiences.
The long term change is a harder one to measure. Shiny new things glint nicely in the sunlight and make you look. But not for long.
It takes nerve and a lot of brand confidence to navigate this technically-engineered consumer landscape, with the ever-present risk of being left behind if you aren’t seen to be jumping on the latest trend or offering the latest tech.
At Designate, we’re firm believers in the power of the brand, of building businesses based on big ideas. Bold creative concepts that can transform and challenge audiences and bring them along with you.
We think brand first, tactics second. We’re no Luddites either. Tech, tweets, videos and ephemeral likes are fine, if they contribute to the overall brand proposition, benefit, preference and affinity. We can provide that external, objective and experienced perspective, a strategic added value, without the tactical distractions.
We look at a brief and we look at how we can go beyond it. How we can deliver more. Bigger.
Stretching a metaphor, there’s beauty in looking at the details of petals of a solitary flower, but taking in a whole landscape can and will be more rewarding. Our point of view has its cliches too. Look at the big picture. It’s a beautiful world out there.