Saturday, June 12, 2010

This and That: 06.16.10

+ A couple of the things I've been reading the last couple days. A lot about ideas, social media and more.

+ There's more to Social Media than Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
Social media and social networking are not the same. Social media are the tools and social networking is what you do in the communities. You can use one to enhance the other, but they are not the same.

In fact, it's not about those sites. It's about a cross section of community sites, blogs, bookmarking sites, photo sites, sharing tools, audio and video tools and some even more advanced tools that are used in conjunction with one another to have a robust social media experience.

+ Marketing Is Losing Its Mojo - Looks at how social media and analytics are no substitute for big ideas.
All this focus on social media and analytics seems to be sucking the creativity out of marketing. Time was, brands developed big ideas and delivered and communicated them in unique and creative ways. Now it seems marketers are only interested in tactics and metrics.

Where is today’s equivalent of Apple’s groundbreaking “1984” spot? Or of the classic “Think Small” print ads from VW? Certainly media and communications have changed, so a big TV spot or newspaper campaign probably isn’t the right approach for transformational marketing. But lately it seems the pursuit of breakthrough marketing creativity has taken a backseat to work on more predictable and achievable efforts.

This is a serious threat to marketing’s ability to drive business growth. While there’s no question that social media includes some very powerful new communications platforms, we must not confuse tools with content. At the end of the day, the effectiveness of marketing is based on representing well the brand identity and positioning.

We also need to first think “what,” then “how.” Carpenters don’t study their toolboxes to come up with ideas for furniture to make. Composers don’t begin writing symphonies by identifying the instruments which will play them. So marketers shouldn’t start with social media tools and then try to create a brand idea that lends itself to the platform.

+ What's the Big Idea? is a short piece that looks at the big idea.
When the great idea sparks, it’s the creative instinct that sees the glimmer of something special. To survive, the creatives must protect it. That’s their toughest job. Sure, it’s on brief, but that doesn’t make it comfortable – that makes it the most fragile thing on the wall. It takes guts for others to embrace it and for the creative to defend it. If it’s attacked or dismissed too soon, it will fizzle out. Left unsupported, a nitpick or nay-say will be its death. It’s scary.

That scariness is what makes an idea original – the real thing, made up of truth, skill, and cleverness, something that’s never been seen before. It’s too red, it’s the wrong size, and it’s colored with a child’s crayon. It bothers. It zags, and then zigs, always spinning right on the edge of what’s expected, but never quite dipping down into it. The great idea doesn’t look like other ads in the category and it certainly isn’t what the client asked for. It’s quite impolite. It’s the one that makes noise and creates verbal brawls at every presentation. It’s polarizing. Half the reviewers break out in hives while considering it, while the other half wish they had thought of it.

+ I'm Comic Sans is a funny write up from the point of view of Comic Sans.

+ A fun animation set to Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, where he discusses at length Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.

+ A brilliant speech from Gareth Kay about Ideas that Do. (Yes, it's a bit old, but I'm trying to catch up)

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