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Big brand budgets, lazy brand thinking?

Big brand budgets, lazy brand thinking?

I am posing this question at a time when a brand’s communication strategy is spread over an incredibly wide spectrum of media options. The exciting new possibilities in digital marketing alone have taken brands into interaction with consumers previously not possible.

Not surprisingly, traditional and new media environments are dominated by big brands, often with an international footprint. Substantial marketing budgets allow these “mega brands” to cover all options in their quest for consumer attention and creating brand preference.

I may be among the minority here, but these brands too often fail to provide any fresh ideas or inspiration. The same old stuff and plenty of it. A campaign concept created for consistency across the media plan or international markets.

In the digital space, the same strategy of so called “share of voice” seems to prevail. Yet right now I cannot think of a single big brand campaign or creative idea across a wide spectrum of media options that will generate the “wish we had done that” response.

Okay, before the poisoned arrows are launched in my direction, I can think of one. No surprise that the judges at Cannes this year recognised the “Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities” from IBM. An original idea allowing the brand to deliver very practical everyday solutions anchored in a core proposition for the IBM business.

Such inspiration did not rely on a big brand budget, and offered the IBM brand exciting media possibilities across a very broad canvas.

However, when scanning the wider media landscape it is often smaller, challenger brands grabbing attention and whose invitation to get involved is hard to resist. A personal favourite is the “Grazed on Greatness” campaign for M.J. Bale, an Australian menswear brand with a unique wool threaded story.

I cannot help to note that the creators of these campaigns seem to try just a little bit harder to deliver a fresh and original idea.

Without the comfort of big brand budgets and therefore media domination, I admire their currency being originality and inspiration.

If you think any successful campaigns that have inspired you, please share them in the comments section. I’d be interested to check them out.

More reading:

7 digital trends to include in your marketing plan
Brands have nowhere to hide
Brand loyalty: Are marketers facing a sad reality?
What is so special about your brand?
What happened to challenger brands?

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