Telling the brand story: is it the one your customers care about?
Spike Jones at The Daily Fix has a good post up titled: Further Proof Traditional Advertising Is Losing It's Grip. Spike points to the critically acclaimed VW ads, as well as Subservient Chicken as two creatively groundbreaking campaigns that generated a ton of buzz and awareness, but ultimately left sales flat.
I'm the last person to dismiss terrific creative execution, but so often the story that the creative is expressing is one that is as flat as the sales, and does nothing to generate loyalty and word of mouth. This is not limited just to TV of course, but the reality is too often that mass drives the concept and sometimes is forced to work with a brand ID that is out of touch with reality, or needs reinventing to be relevant, and the rest of the mediums force fit the concept into their development to showcase integration.
So, the ad may tell a good story, and be visually compelling, but is it one your customers will tell in turn? Is it the type of story that is part of the fabric of a brand AND resonates with your customers own experiences? Is it the truth? Does the product or service show a clear value proposition that is expressed in a way the consumer gets? Does it take into consideration what your target audience perceives about your brand?
Will it make consumers identify with and talk about your brand, ultimately motivating purchases? Or was it made to go viral, and/or be edgy/ unique? Sometimes it will be all three, but if brand health is the barometer I'd pick door #1 any day and let our customers open the others.