Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On being authentic

There is something wonderfully authentic about these online clips from CNBC.  

The music creates a slightly sentimental emotional response, and even more so, the way they have all followed the same format but are given the freedom to design their own narrative about who they are and where they have come from is touching.  It even stirs up slightly warm feelings for Jim Cramer.  This then gives me, the viewer, permission to have a relationship with the reporters/journalists I identify with.

Whilst some people I have spoken with say they come across as a little self serving, I don't believe this to be the intention, though they might want to tone down the emotion a little. You will still get the same result. It's a fine line as we all know.

It's hard building an authentic brand, even more so today in a market that is becoming increasingly over crowded.  No big news I know, but the "authentic human touch" strategy behind these clips are a great idea for a company who's products are a little harder to sell - such as banking, financial services, insurance etc.  Give your greatest brand champions (your employees) a human face, and your company might not seem so impersonal after all.

You can take a look here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ad Agencies Fashion Their Own Horn, and Toot It

I am just catching up on some of my holiday reading and came across this interesting article in the New York Times.
Whilst this might be a good idea short term, this site earns money through a readership of over 120k views and AdSense, I question if it strays from where an agency should be focused.  I agree that by developing their own brands they can learn real-life lessons, but I am still left cold by it.  I will admit that mrs-o.org is now firmly on my blogroll.
From the article:
The advertising agency behind the blog, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, does not work for Mrs. Obama or for the fashion designers the site features. In fact, mrs-o.org is not for a client at all. It is an entirely new business created by the Zag division of Bartle Bogle, which the agency started to invent new brands.
Mrs. O and Zag are part of a business model transformation in the advertising industry. Agencies are parlaying their expertise in marketing the brands of other companies into creating and marketing their own.
“Advertising is a massively old model based on the 1950s. As media has proliferated, it’s become a lot harder for us to earn enough money off our ideas,” said Ben Jenkins, the strategic director of Zag. “Zag is about creating the properties ourselves from scratch and having 100 percent of it.”