Ideas Have To Be All-Terrain Vehicles.
It’s no secret that the best advertising ideas have a multi-medium strategy.
But it’s not always a seamless transition. I’m always disappointed when a big TV campaign idea somehow doesn’t make the transition to radio and a completely different campaign is used, or where the TV audio is just stripped and run as radio.
An effective campaign has a core idea that propels the advertising. While it may be completely visually-oriented on TV, the core idea should still be transportable to other mediums. If not, it probably isn’t a big idea.
I believe a campaign should be multi-pronged, that consumers should see and hear the campaign across many mediums, across the many touchpoints of their lives. And because advertising spends so little time with customers, because we are relegated to 30 seconds or less, or only a couple of seconds in the event of a billboard, the degree of “persuasion” is weakened. Therefore, the message needs to be consistent, even if the creative must morph in order to fully embrace the strengths of each medium.
It’s the core idea that can be put into luggage and traveled.
Smart Cars, in England, for instance, used a great website to show you how easy it is to park the car, and they ran humorous TV spots that demonstrated the same benefit in very funny ways. On radio, they chose to keep the core idea, but instead, they created short 5-second radio ads that they wedged in between the other regular spots in a commercial break. So you heard a 30-second commercial for a company, then a quick 5-second Smart Car ad, then another 30 second spot for another advertiser, then another quick 5-second Smart Car spot, and so on.
The core idea: How easy it is to park a Smart Car, by “parking” the spots in-between all the other commercials.
Great website. Excellent TV. Award-winning radio idea. Core idea successfully transplanted medium to medium to medium.
It takes enormous discipline to carefully guard and protect a core idea as it changes lanes. At the end of the day, the ease by which an idea is able to break through the guard rails and go off-road to find its audience is the ultimate benchmark.
But to do that, ideas truly have to be all-terrain vehicles.