On Monday evening the IPA let us in on some different approaches to making a brand famous. You can watch the full video on their website soon, but for now here are our favourite points made by the panel.
1. Look out for creatives stumbling upon big ideas
Matthew Philip of Manning Gottlieb OMD shared a lesser known fact about the famous Specsavers slogan. ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ was originally a line of dialogue in an early TV ad – it didn’t become the endline until later in the campaign.
Now it’s the bedrock of everything the brand does, most notably its responsive social campaigns such as last year’s Canneloni/Chiellini mix-up.
Sometimes ‘big ideas’ don’t come in a flash of inspiration – they’re planted quietly and nurtured over time.
2. Talk to groups
Copywriters are often told to write with one person in mind. While this is a good technique for powerful writing, it’s not enough to create long-term brand fame.
Famous brands make themselves useful within communities, as pointed out by Sunshine’s Jenny Howard who worked on the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. This project is a great example of a brand ingratiating itself within a group.
3. Do work you’re proud of
The less said about Protein World the better at this stage. But that campaign was brought up on the night as an example of brand fame gone wrong.
Sure, the ads have become famous and even boosted sales – but they’ve also alienated swathes of potential customers with their insensitive approach.
Are the people behind that campaign truly proud of it?
4. Stick to brand values
Cat Wiles of AMV BBDO emphasised the importance of values in making a brand famous, giving the Christmas in a Day campaign for Sainsbury’s as an example.
By focusing on sharing as a core brand value, Sainsbury’s has created a string of memorable Christmas campaigns with a strong cumulative effect.
5. Add to the culture
Matthew Gladstone of Grey reminded us that advertisers create culture as well as reflecting it – to be famous you have to add new experiences rather than recycling what’s gone before.
The Vinnie Jones campaign for the British Heart Foundation reversed a cultural assumption (that CPR is for experts), introduced disco into emergency situations all over the country and saved 30 lives in the process.
6. Play the long game
It’s not enough to apply these rules to one campaign – you have to do it again and again to get properly famous (in a good way).
Which brings us back to Specsavers. The brand has followed all these rules over the last 30 years and enjoyed £1.1bn incremental profit during that time.
That kind of success doesn’t happen overnight.