Friday, February 26, 2010

Use Strategy to Breakthrough Advertising Clutter

(As recently published in Healthcare Marketing Advisor, February 2010, by Rob Rosenberg - President, Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy, Ltd.)

Ironically, the most effective way for marketers to break the mold and breakthrough with consumers is to start with a well-defined strategy and creative brief. The tighter the strategy, the more liberating the opportunity to create outstanding advertising campaigns. The irony is that advertisers (and many creative people) feel that tight strategies actually stifle the creative process and limit the number of "big ideas" that can be generated for an ad campaign.

The opposite is true. A clear strategy actually opens the world of big ideas and you won't waste time by thinking execution before strategy. The idea is to execute the strategy, not strategize the execution.

Consumers are bombarded with over 3,000 messages a day in some manner, so you have to break the mold to be noticed. But that doesn't mean you have to break the bank or push the creative envelope right off the edge (to the point it makes no sense). A big idea flows from a well conceived strategy and the execution follows.

In healthcare advertising - as George Carlin might have said - avoid the "seven dully words or phrases" - safe, multidisciplinary, "we care", integrated, accredited, comprehensive, and patient-centered.

Know the impact and shelf life of different kids of executions. For example, humor wears out fast but tends to be noticed. Testimonials will last longer but you'll want several to keep the campaign believable and memorable. The "mold" that needs to be broken is the campaign that features healthcare professionals, buildings, scientific language, and the very popular (but forced) classical music - all rolled into a tidy 30-second commercial.

Remember, if you can cover your logo at the end of the commercial or print ad and realize that it could have been created for any hospital, it's not good! And it probably means that the idea started with an execution in mind, and not a strategy.

4 comments:

Mosquitohead said...

Good observations, Rob. However, the "mold that has to be broken" is the one that some healthcare ad agencies have used over and over and over because doctors like that sort of thing and will always buy it easily. Not to be catty, but do the initials SPM mean anything?

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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lower healthcare costs said...

Healthcare reform, the 2009 version, is really payment reform. The reform debate is dancing around the real issues: the fundamentals of what we do and the service we deliver to our customers.

lower healthcare costs said...

Healthcare reform, the 2009 version, is really payment reform. The reform debate is dancing around the real issues: the fundamentals of what we do and the service we deliver to our customers.