Brand thinking is a constant value that molds itself to each generation differently. It used to be that brands were one dimensional. Flat, generic ideas that had a difficult time expanding to its viewer’s diversity. This is not to discredit all advertisements from the past decades, since there have certainly been some revolutionary creators that have influenced the market to where it is today but there are undoubtedly a new set of obstacles that give branding a whole new meaning. Teressa Iezzi explains in her book The Idea Writers, “One of the challenges of today’s copywriter is telling a story across multiple platforms, and involving the consumer in that story” (29). You simply can’t send out a message in hopes that it will get heard. With the new wave of technology, people can now tune out ads and avoid them all together much easier. This is a curse and a blessing; we now have to work harder to reach people, but it also means that when we do, it will have a larger impact. Instead of shooting blank concepts, there has to be a purpose behind it. Iezzi supports that claim by explaining that, “the more basic part of interactive is to make people feel something” (72). Adding an emotional connection to the foundation of branding is the critical ingredient to a successful advertisement.
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created the perfect campaign that has had the most influence over what I consider to be the new standard for brand thinking. With their client Haagen Dazs , they demonstrated how to link together the relationship between a brand and the people who use it. Honey bees were becoming extinct and without them we would lose many of our natural recourses, which happens to include ice cream. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners went the extra mile to exhibit the correlation between their product and a necessity in everyone’s lives. Using a wide variety of media platforms, Goodby was able to send out a positive message that, “after one week after launch the campaign generated over 125 million impressions. More than their goal for the entire year” (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners). They created a story that transformed communities, schools and corporations by walking away from conventional advertising. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners knew that one option was to showcase a new feature of their ice cream, but instead they reached out to their audience. They took it upon themselves to make a difference and spread passion. This is brand thinking.
Luke Williams teaches his strategy in Disrupt to help get results that Häagen-Dazs saw by beginning the thought process with, “seeing things as they are and asking, ‘Why?,’ or dreaming things as they never were and asking, ‘What if?’” (18). Williams wants to “disrupt” typical thinking in order to shift branding into the new era. “Disruptive hypotheses are designed to upset your comfortable, business equilibrium and bring about accelerated change in your own thinking” (18). Asking the right questions in the beginning of your branding strategy will lead to stronger answers in the end. Good campaigns don’t erect form simple observations and close-minded questions. It comes from the innovators lifestyle of seeing the world from a different view than the typical person.
The most influential speaker I’ve encountered that spoke upon this idea is Scott Bedbury, who believes that, “when we are fully present we don’t miss very much. We become better marketers, leaders, lovers parents and citizens”. More importantly, Bedbury emphasized the importance of bringing honestly to all of your work. Branding is like the air within in our lives, it surrounds us everyday and most of us take it for granted. We need air to survive but through time people have generated smog that is slowly suffocating us. Branding has to be cleaned up and supported by likeminded people that want to change its image into a healthier one.
There are many skeptical of the positive power that the media can have over our culture because branding is so heavily prevalent which has a major influence on what we do and how we think of every level. “Advertisers are aware of their role and do not hesitate to take advantage of the insecurities and anxieties of young people, usually in the guise of offering solutions” (Kilbourne, 2); however with campaigns like Häagen-Dazs, produced by Goodby, we can see the evolution of branding becoming a more beneficial source to society. I am personally placing the pressure of turning mass communication into a platform of constructive energy in order to help shape, and impact the world into a better place. As the creative ad genius of our time, Bill Bernach, puts it best: “All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.”