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News & Insight

The Honest Truth of Advertising

We’ve all heard the claims. One car is the best four wheel drive on the market. A particular toothpaste will leave your teeth whiter than white. A diet pill will shave 5kgs off your waistline. And the claims are all well and good until your order arrives and, well, the face cream doesn’t make you look quite like a Hollywood celebrity.

 

As brands, it’s time to be honest. Brutally so.

 

We’re living in an age of growing cynicism. Telling it like it is in your ads – even if you’re admitting that, “You know what? We’re not actually the best.” – is a sure fire way to win over consumers. This, in turn, increases sales and brand equity.

 

So what do we need to be honest?

 

  1. Bravery

Work for an agency? Exploring the shortcomings of a product won’t damage a brand. It builds trust with consumers. When people trust advertising, they trust the product or service it’s selling. We need to pitch unexpected ideas. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

  1. Reflection

This is a tough one. If you’re a brand manager, take a long, hard look at your product or service. Nothing is perfect and it’s a good exercise to identify flaws. Reflecting on your product will reveal the weaknesses that you can capitalise on.

  1. Balance

When we say “be honest,” we don’t mean, “speak negatively about your brand.” We’re just promoting humility every now and then. It’s okay to point out your strengths too. Just stay away from exaggeration; people see straight through it.

 

Our belief in honesty drove our most recent ISUZU Women’s Month campaign. We didn’t knock the brand. We didn’t depict the brand in a bad light. We just recognised that women – not other car brands – top us when it comes to admirable qualities.

 

Have a look.

 

(Insert artwork – we just need to pull something from Scan’s machine.)

 

And we’re not the only ones who live by this. Smart brands have created honest advertising that is charming, surprising, and trustworthy for years.

 

Remember Avis’ “We’re number 2” ads?

 

 

Or what about KFC’s “FCK” campaign?

 

 

 

 

 

Then there’s Dominos Pizza’s “Turnaround” spot.

 

(embed YouTube video)

 

And, of course, Radioshack’s “Phone call” commercial.

 

(embed YouTube video)

 

Honesty comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s apologizing for a mistake. Other times it’s pointing out an imperfection. Whatever it looks like for your brand, we say, “Go for it.”

Because, in all honesty, it’s good for your business, your agency and the people who add your product to their cart.

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News & Insight

Telling a story with conflict in the spotlight

There’s a lot of significance placed on how a brand conveys its brand story. For some, it’s in their humble beginnings. Their origin story. For some, it’s in the good deeds they do for their communities. Their social responsibility story. For some, it’s their features and benefits. Their product story. For some, it’s in how they break the mould. Their disruption story. There is no right or wrong to conveying this to an audience,  but they’re also not complete or compelling without these brand stories finding their meaning and resonance. This is why at LIVECOM, we tackle each project by diving deep into the intricacies of each brand story.

 

So how do we get to the root of a captivating brand story?

The most significant element of any story is ‘conflict’. Conflict is when we identify a problem or challenge and become compelled by the process of solving it. Embracing conflict is crucial to keep an audience invested in how a storyline unfolds and how your brand can shine through the resolution.

 

Why does conflict fuel every brand story?

  • It gives your main character a challenge to overcome
  • It creates tension that keeps an audience on the edge of their seats for what will happen next
  • It propels the story forward towards a grand confrontation and a resolution
  • It forces characters to make tough choices, to transition, evolve and ultimately emerge in a new place which may be better or worse

 

All while having the audience along for the unfolding and resolution of the story – making it that much more rewarding in the end.

 

While most brands value the significance of brand storytelling, very few understand that bringing conflict to life animates a brand’s purpose and can help define who the brand is. The idea of highlighting conflict within a brand story may seem like a negative approach, but it’s actually what hooks an audience, sparks their curiosity and holds their attention.

 

The following conflict paths can be used to yield the most suitable story for your brand:

  1. Character vs Self – give your character some flaws
  2. Character vs Character – let your character face opposition from one or more than one characters in your story
  3. Character vs Natural World – have your character battle a natural force
  4. Character vs Society – have your character struggle to either stand out or fit in
  5. Character vs Technology – have your character struggle to keep up with technology
  6. Character vs Fate – pit your character against his own destiny

 

From the above, you would need to figure out what role your brand plays in the story. Does it actively help the character overcome its challenges? Does it simply recognise or support the characters struggle?

 

Sure, conflict may seem like another term for a problem or pain point, but here at LIVECOM, we look at this through a different lens. To us, the crucial difference between a problem and conflict is that conflict wakes up a feeling of action among an audience. Conflict is a problem that the customer is motivated enough to resolve, whereas a problem can simply be ignored. Conflict must be decided. Many businesses go wrong when they focus their brand story on a problem the customer can tolerate vs a conflict they have to resolve.

We know dramatic conflict is essential to connecting with an audience’s emotional intelligence. So why shy away from uncovering and telling your whole brand story? Let’s collaborate and help you crack the hook that will capture the imagination of your audience and believe in what your brand represents.

 

 

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News & Insight

Harnessing the power of analogies to inspire creativity

So you’re ready to solve your brand problem, a problem that may be unfamiliar, uninteresting, complex, controversial or even unmentionable. Before you set off and dive into connecting the dots and plotting the way forward, perhaps consider; would an analogy help.

Analogies are part of the human experience. We need them when we’re too young to comprehend complex realities, and as grown-ups, they come in handy in helping us relay these complexities to young children. Think the birds and the bees.

In the creative space, analogies are a valuable tool for creative problem solving to help move away from the obvious and encourage ‘out of the box’ thinking that gives us fresh new ways of looking at the environment around us. Analogies work because our brains use patterns and shortcuts to understand and deal with the world. And with the correct analogy in place, you can give your brand problem:

  • fresh insights
  • relevance
  • comprehensibility
  • social acceptance and, most importantly
  • resonance with your brands audience

The key to harnessing the power of an analogy is getting the connecting line just right, which links the analogy problem with the real-world problem you want to highlight. Exploring unrelated concepts for insights that you can apply to your brand problem creates endless creative possibilities.

Let’s turn your brand problem into a refreshed, memorable way of capturing the attention and imagination of your audience and building a rewarding conversation that resonates.