‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.’


I was in New York recently, as a judge on the Global Effies. Without giving away who won, (or more importantly who didn’t) there was some extraordinarily poor thinking. And most of it hinged around unconvincing definitions of the problem.

It seems that in our headlong run towards creative planning, we focus all of our attention on the proposition, or even the idea, and very little on the ‘role of advertising’. Of course, these days, the ‘Role of Advertising’ is about as old-fashioned as the mechanical, or editing films using a reel to reel, a razorblade and some sellotape, but wise old people used to say that the role of advertising was MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PROPOSITION. i.e., if you figured it out what you were trying to get people to do, in a credible way, then the proposition would follow as night follows day.

So, imagine my surprise when the case for one brand that has been highly successful for 40 years said that the objective was to ‘make the brand more liked.’

The creative work was, as you can imagine, ‘likeable.’ Downright funny, in fact. However, there was absolutely no evidence that being liked or not liked had anything to do with this brand being one of Interbrand’s highest valued brands.

Which brand? I’ll tell you after the show.

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