By Andy Jorishie, EVP, Ideas & innovation at Bright Red/TBWA
Is it me, or are we seeing a resurgence of big, splashy, emotional brand campaigns? Truthfully, this was the type of advertising 30 years ago that made me want to go into advertising. And, in fact, was the type of advertising that I did for the first decade of my career. Big TV campaigns for AT&T and Citibank and others, with big budgets but still big ideas.
Certainly those were arguably the glory days of our craft (or perhaps the celebration while the city burned?), but I can’t help but recall fondly the broad palette where we could combine smart strategy with an artistic integrity that sometimes today I find lacking. Yes, I realize that today we measure effectiveness like never before, that we can optimize our dollars like never before, that we can reach a bazillion impressions digitally with a fraction of what it previously cost. Yes, yes, yes.
But at what cost?
As a strategist, I always look for the emotional angle - - the higher order idea that will connect with consumer’s hearts as well as their minds. And, truthfully, I find that difficult to cram into a banner or a website or a piece of native content. It’s fascinating to see how our digital tools are evolving – and (in my honest opinion), always striving for that emotional connection but often falling short…so far. We’ll see.
But it makes me very happy to see some brands reverting to the big brand campaign built around a singular idea and delivered with a punch to the gut – one that makes you go “I can relate” or perhaps just smile at the emotional recognition. Clorox just released a new campaign about how ‘clean is just the beginning’ – and it struck me how smart and true and effective that good ‘ol brand advertising can be. It’s bleach for gods sake, but a bleach with an insight, damn it.
Clorox isn’t alone. We’re seeing big campaigns from giants like Coca-Cola (who arguably never stopped), The New York Times, GE…but also from the unexpected places, like Clorox, Ancestry.com and Audible.
Maybe I’m a romantic yearning for days gone by, but it’s inspiring to see the uptick in this type of work. Or, maybe this type of work never went away. We just couldn’t see it through the clutter.
At the end of the day, advertising is an art form. And, hopefully, art will always find a way to stick around.