I manned the CIPR North East stand for a while at Marketing: The Art Of today - a fantastic Business Link conference aimed at anyone with a PR and marketing remit in the North East of England. (Although I'm sure anyone from further afield was welcomed just as wholeheartedly.) Luckily I managed to catch quite a few of the sessions and as well as taking away some real practicable titbits, I noticed there was a definite theme to what the experts were saying. The crux being that no matter what discipline you work in, marketing shouldn't be just 'saying' something about a brand, but creating an emotion so the person experiences and feels it.
Robert Senior from SSF Group was not only a captivating speaker but illustrated it perfectly, playing the ever popular Cadbury's gorilla adverts straplined 'A glass and a half of joy.' The smiles round the room showed how people were feeling good - exactly the type of feeling the manufacturers wanted people to associate with their product. Inspired.
Harry Drnec from the Broadband Computer Company said the same thing but put it a different way. His advice was to "create the thrill" because "the passion the thrill creates will build your brand for you."
Collette Dunkley from X and Y Communication's comment was that if you generate emotion, you will generate word of mouth. I know I'll be taking a closer look at my approach from now on.
Considering all the speakers were covering completely different topics, I was fascinated to hear the same message reflected throughout each of the talks.
Before I sign off, a couple more points from Robert Senior that are worth reflecting on and which bring cheer to a sole practitioner's heart. Robert said that creativity is not dependent on budgets - any good idea will attract an audience, which means the little guy can outsmart the big guy. Yeah!
Finally, when briefing creative types, organisations should give "liberating constraint," ie allow room to play with the brief. It's true mistakes might be made but at the same time, memorable and award-winning campaigns like the drum playing gorilla might just be forthcoming.