9th November 2016
“Be bold. Don’t conform. Balls out, bum out, get whatever you need out in order to do something extraordinary and be noticed”.
Sentiments which have no doubt led to Richard Alford carving himself a hugely successful career in the advertising world and helped him to the position of Managing Director at M&C Saatchi.
I spent some time last week at The BNC Global Event Show, at which the keynote speaker was the impressive Richard. I was keen to listen in and hear what he had to say and thankfully for me and a smattering of other “#eventprofs” in the room, he didn’t disappoint. Taking snippets from industry leaders and cross-pollinate ideas which resonate with what we do throughout the year for our clients is always a welcome opportunity. In the world of marketing, communications, PR, advertising and events, there’s undoubtedly a lot of cross-over which needs to be shared.
So with a nod to Mr Alford, here’s a synopsis of his pearls of wisdom – get ready for insights into Kim Kardashian’s posterior, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s groin and the trippy social media sensation, the ‘#puppymonkeybaby’. If you can do at least one of these per project you’ll have a great chance of creating an event which has enduring value for your stakeholders, so read on…
Kim Kardashian’s bum ‘broke the internet’. Yes it was quite a sight, but more so it was brave, it was bold, it was brash, it was really rather extraordinary. Don’t conform to the norm and do what everyone else does. Don’t do safe.
Jean-Claude Van Damme recently starred in this advert (see below). It’s promoting trucks, about as mundane as you can get, yet has over 80 million views online. Jean-Claude’s groin will have undoubtedly felt the strain for a 55 year old, but this utterly daft, unexpected concept clearly caught the eye of the viewer… and I don’t suspect many drive trucks…
Just because it’s the ‘in thing’, it doesn’t make it the ‘right thing’ for you and your brand. As House of Fraser found out to their cost, emoji’s don’t communicate with everyone; even if you’re trying to engage with a specific audience (young Millennials in this case), the fad you’re putting your message behind might not necessarily be correct for your brand.
Budweiser’s ‘Whassup?’ advert is seventeen years old. Yikes. Despite all those years, it still resonates today and has inspired this year’s most talked about Superbowl half-time advert from Mountain Dew. Some bright spark in their creative team decided it would be a cracking idea to merge a puppy, a monkey, and a baby; and they were right, with millions of hits for this bonkers advert. Just as Budweiser thought all those years ago, weird is wonderful.
Shout about who you are and why you’re great. Us Brits are notoriously shy and self-deprecating, and this can come through in our campaigns, communications and events. The personal care brand, Dove, depicted this beautifully and powerfully in their recent campaign with a lesson for us all; optimism shines through and gets us noticed.
‘Are You Beach Body Ready?’. A campaign which inadvertently drew more exposure to the brand behind it than could ever have been dreamed of. One can look to be bold, itchy and unexpected, but don’t be crass. Know where that fine line is. There is such a thing as bad publicity.
Don’t preach what others peddle. Create something which is true to you, your company, your colleagues, your clients, your brand. If you’re open, honest, and present you for who you are, more often than not you’ll find those you’re trying to communicate and work with will buy into you.
The seven rules above resonate with me immensely. It’s these which serve as tools to enable me to help my clients challenge the status quo and create an event which reflects them as a business and brand. In other words, it’s ‘Vivid Thinking’.
By Ben Priest our in-house Senior Relationship Manager