There are a lot of talented creative people in the advertising and marketing business. But here’s the problem: most of what they make doesn’t work. Even the best stuff can go by unseen. It’s a “pay-to-play” game, and there’s a dizzying and incredible over-abundance of content. Ads have never been so easy to ignore. But, it’s still important for brands to be public and visible.
There’s a reason why Apple relies so heavily on out-of-home advertising. It works but doing it at scale comes at a premium. There’s only one Apple, and they have the deepest pockets in the world. But what about everyone else? How do you connect with customers in an environment that’s always evolving and increasingly anti-advertising? The answer is simple: stop putting so much energy into creating your own content, and think and act more like a curator.
If your goal is to go viral, partner with internet hitmakers and place a lot of bets. Most things fail. If you want to experiment with NFTs or other emerging technologies, work with people who specialize in these areas and have had prior success. Innovation is a journey to the unknown. You want the best and most knowledgeable guides you can find.
Make sure no one dies using your product, but if you want to be seen and felt in culture, divert media dollars towards paid placement, and show up in relevant TV shows, movies, and other entertainment content. Things people don’t skip but instead seek out and pay for.
And most importantly, shift more dollars towards creators and influencers who have a genuine connection to your brand and audience. Influence matters. Put less focus on branded social challenges and campaigns. Give your talent guardrails but hand over the creative keys. Let them come up with interesting and useful ways to show off your brand, and for the most part, get out of the way.