Sunday, September 6, 2009

Not more ideas!

- I recently discovered a firm that will, if supplied with a brief, provide a client with 100 ideas … overnight! They use Twitter to contact hundreds of ‘ideas people’ internationally.

- Creative agencies now provide media ideas as well as creative ideas. Media agencies now provide creative ideas as well as media ideas.

- Large supermarket retailers have in-house creative departments that can provide ideas and advertising for their supplier’s brands, rather than the other way around.

Marketers have more access to ideas than ever before. Everyone now seems to be providing ideas. As a creative person I’ve been raised to believe that the more ideas on the table the better.

But now I’m beginning to wonder.

Take Nandos Chicken. They’ve tried every bizarre idea you can think of. They had a stripping Mother wearing a Nandos Nicotine patch on TV.

They’ve created a radio ‘satire’ of Clare Werbeloff, the Chk Chk Boom girl.

They’ve even got into the latest craze of creating a disruptive PR stunt, that disrupted the king of disruptive PR stunts: Sacha Baron Cohen’s, Bruno.

(The raw footage has been removed from YouTube but you can see some of the news coverage at the following link)

Some are funnier than others - I quite like the stripping Mum spot for some reason. But what story do they tell? What problem do they solve? What brand image do they build? What, as a consumer, am I supposed to think of the brand?

I honestly can’t tell. In Nandos I see dozens of random ideas and not a single brand message.

Possible taglines like, “We’re a little bit different”, “Unexpectedly delicious chicken” or even “We’re not for everyone” would tie the zaniness together. But we don’t get any help at all.

A visit to the website makes you think your dealing with a different brand altogether. It shows a low tech, hand drawn, food focussed, ethnic style brand. Nothing like the TV, radio and PR communication. I’m even more confused now!

Many other brands are excitedly experimenting with channels, executions and ideas. Which is fantastic … as long as each piece of communication supports and builds on a consistent brand message. The beer people are particularly good at experimentation without losing sight of the message and target consumer.

When consumers are forced to re-evaluate a brand every time they see a new piece of communication, they just don’t bother.

Potential consumers of Nandos know the brand exists, and sells chicken. But they have no idea what it stands for and therefore why they should consider it.

When it comes to brand communication, dozens of random ideas won’t help you, one correct one will.

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