Brand building as we all know it emerges from the calibers of the business, the outcome of the advertising & communication industries- those who create what we now perceive and use everyday; brands. The thrive to thrust the one core brand value they poured their energy, and wits surfaces so unwillingly when locked in a room with the digi savvy practitioners – the evangelists of the .com & the web 2.0 syndrome, who have also done the extensive homework and understand the dynamics and movement of a brand amidst the offline & online world.
My involvement with the advertising realm, the clients, the media and the communication contributors for the past few years has been nothing but thumping to my passion for this profound business. However it wasn’t too long until I gave in to the online sphere, to its proliferating dynamics- a jammed galaxy crowded with so much learning, accelerating technological and digital communication endeavors. So I took a leap of faith and facts!
My first disappointment in one of the known advertising agencies in Lebanon took place last week. I then deduced that agencies in the Middle East have yet so much to absorb when dealing with the functions and dynamics of digital activation. Why do I narrate this? Well it seems that I sadly and yet still skeptical came to uncover and confirm that agencies are like brands also- polished by building an image that might only stand as an image, yet when lateral digital thinking is spoon fed, traditional academics who ironically are a youth segment (who should be the most active segment online) would kick in, obscuring any way for logical sense in understanding how a brand drastically yet effectively remolds itself when stepping into digital communication.
Far off from insinuating that adopted brand prepositions should be reconsidered or reshuffled, however when any particular brand chooses to evolve and engage with the online perpetuators, it is imperative to adhere to the law of applying a “digital brand USP”.
And an advertising representative quoted: “The same slogan used in our advertising campaign is to be used in the digital campaign! (Out loud so we can all hear the obscurity and irrational statement)
Why does a brand’s tonality changes when stepping into the digital arena?
From the 1930s through the late ’50s, “Pepsi-Cola Hits The Spot” was the most commonly used slogan in the days of old radio, classic motion pictures, and later television. Its jingle (conceived in the days when Pepsi cost only five cents) was used in many different forms with different lyrics. Pepsi in the early 70’s spoke of “Coming Alive”
Digitally, Pepsi rolled out a colossal digital campaign replacing and shifting all offline budget to online. The Refresh Everything project entices human behavioral and psychological values in an effort to crowd source human intelligence effectively works around building a better community- from the people to the people.
Nike inspires us with “Just do it” – as we all know it. However when actively engaging with the online user, Nike brings forward the ability to Write the Future. This marked the first stage of a journey that will ultimately see fans around the world write their own future through experiences that put them at the center of the action. In June, fans were able to live like their heroes through a unique experience on nikefootball.com that generates ripple videos and visuals from their own photos and information, placing them at the center stage. Footballers can then use this creative to build their own Facebook campaign to get noticed and selected for “The Chance” – an elite Nike Academy football camp in partnership with the Barclays Premier League in England that allows players to get scouted and get noticed at the highest level of the game.
When you go to work everyday, you put on your suit, or buttoned shirt, apply your rules of engagement and abide by the boundaries of personal and friendly involvement with colleagues- even an identity would eventually be sculpt depending on what you have been meaning to sound/look/seem like. However, and this we all know is aimless to say, but when we are out with our friends, jugging down beer, or we are at a party we act differently, even dress differently, but in the end, we still have our set principles, draw the line when it comes so self involvement. Same goes for a brand looking to take part in the social media party!
Considering the tonality and character of any brand means that re-inventing value preposition is a requirement from every brand when stepping into the interactive social media platform- when a brand becomes responsive, preemptive and social, it has to change its tone.
In offline, the brand proposition lists the reasons why customers will buy the brand and then keep on buying. It states the benefits a customer will get from the product or service and what the unique selling proposition (USP) is. Now when a brand goes into social media, praying for dissemination of positive WOM & user generated content, whatever it is, it must be clear, engaging and presented in a context relevant to the customer and at its best will connect on an emotional level too.
So to the advertising speculating personas and practitioners, I will make it short and as sweet as possible; when considering activating or even complementing your campaign with digital, reconsider your USP- a slogan or tagline used offline is not suitable for social media usage. Maybe for some online banners, yet not even for Google ad sense placements-those need interactive copy which will require engagement and a call for creative media buying, which by itself involves a brand to be in the digital mood.
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