The Big Idea Dies A Slow Death
Randall Rothenberg writes in Ad Age about the death of The Idea - what he calls the "hallmark of modern marketing." From Volkswagen's "Think Small to Alka-Seltzer's "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" to the Jolly Green Giant and Tony the Tiger, the icons and ideas brands once stood on are quickly disappearing yielding to product placements, celebrity endorsements and event marketing.
The big idea was supposed to be a great concept that would last for years and be branded into the psyche of the consumer. Now, it's all about the latest, coolest here-today-gone-tomorrow marcomm trickery. Gerbals shot from a cannon. The Lingerie Half Time Show. Subservient Chicken. All good ideas - if they were a part of a larger, longer lasting campaign. People of a certain age will be able to not only sing the jingles they heard over and over and over as kids but they will actually be able to remember the product. Not so with many of today's advertising efforts.
Rothenberg explains, "They (marketers of old) understood the value of a 'unique selling proposition,' but saw additionally that integrating the USP into a well-crafted narrative could make it live in the hearts and minds of consumers forever. It's telling that our memories of the best of these campaigns still evoke the marketers themselves."
Now, it's about Britney Spears and Thalia and Tiger Woods and Beyonce and Jessica Simpson and Outcast and supermodels and Keira Knightley and David Beckham which would be fine if they stuck with one campaign for a period of time but they don't. It's all about money, exposure and cool factor.