Despite “don’t judge a book by its cover” we do. We don’t have time to challenge our gut instinct. That’s what it’s there for, right? Filtering.

You’ve ignored YouTube pre-roll. Scrolled past vanilla, off-the-shelf Facebook and LinkedIn ads.
You’ve watched an ad and thought (or said with a shaking head and screwed up face) “what the….?!?!?!”
Sure you have. We all have.
Rather than remember the intended company, brand or product, we’re often left bemused. Which, after the effort and money invested, is A, not the reaction the marketers wanted, and B, certainly not the feeling you’d ever want associated with your brand.
Truth is, the product might be awesome. The solution, amazing. The service may be better than your incumbent.

Marketing is a reflection of the product. Subconsciously, lacklustre or cheap and ill-considered marketing says “if we’ve cut corners on our marketing, where else have we cut corners?”.

According to (the rather wonderful) Dave Trott:
4% of advertising is remembered
7% of advertising is remembered negatively
79% of advertising is forgotten or unnoticed.
Above the line, below the line, it doesn’t matter. As marketers, we’re all advertising something.
Regardless of whether you’re creating TV ads, short-form web videos, infographics or white papers, when your content is useful, your brand (by association) is too. This is the reason users like, follow and subscribe.
It’s the simple principle underpinning content marketing. But if it really is that simple, where does it go wrong?

I believe it all boils down to the difference between two words; How? and Why?

“How?” is the question the client asks.
“Why?” is the question the customer asks.
“How?” markets rational features
“Why?” leads you to market emotional benefits
Starting with questions like “How do we tell them?” leads marketers straight to execution. For example “We need a video… find me someone with a camera”.
Starting with “Why?” leads to a tangible creative idea, a concept and/or a value proposition of the product’s emotional benefits. Once you have the idea (the right idea) you can then move on to how you execute the idea.
Starting with “Why?” is the correct approach. Starting with “How?” will often see an idea retrofit the execution. Or, worse still, see your agency shoehorn in an off-the-shelf method that’s profitable for their business – but wrong for you and your audience.
Without an idea, all that’s left is style and format. And it’s likely ‘style over substance’ marketing that forms the majority of the 79% of unforgotten marketing.

Start with “Why?” and aspire for the 4%

Barry Richardson is the Founder & Creative Director of
BRAVO  : :  Creative Marketing Well Done