In order to get creative awards, brands must take risks


While advertising awards often have little commercial value for customers, it is still a reminder to clients that good ads are cheaper and more effective in promoting the behavior of buying products instead of relying on external media spend.

* The article expresses the views of Mr. Harry Lang, Founder of Brand Architects and integrated marketing strategy consultancy.

The Cannes Lions International Creative Festival is taking place, which is a good time to look at the brightest candidates and those who are trying in vain for the Grand Prix.

Among marketers, there are usually two opposing schools: natural and nurturing. It is said that it takes about 10,000 hours to master a certain skill. And if you believe in the book “Malcolm Gladwell’s Success Stories”, nurturing is all you need to do to become an expert in any field. Want to beat Serena Williams at Wimbledon? Wear white clothes and practice playing tennis for 10,000 hours. Do you want to master Schumann’s “Toccata in C” symphony? Spend 416 days learning the piano. Want to become the second Stephen Hawking? Spend 600,000 minutes.

A 2014 Princeton study rejected Gladwell’s claim that training doesn’t necessarily bring perfection. Specialization depends on interconnected factors, especially basic skills and ability to study independently. According to researchers at Princeton, training only leads to certain changes:

It is said that it takes about 10,000 hours to master a certain skill.

  • Music: 21%
  • Sports: 18%
  • Education: 4%
  • Working environment: 1%

The balance comes from natural talent, ability to learn to accumulate and determination. But that doesn’t mean you can do everything well without having to spend a certain amount of time, no matter how gifted you are.

In advertising, the argument between nature and nurturing corresponds to creativity and spending on the media. People who lack creativity (or don’t dare to take risks) can be persuaded and follow the direction of nurturing brands with large budgets to achieve their goals. Each approach has its advantages and both produce different results. Big spending is the plan of brands that, despite everything, push creative advertising temporarily acceptable to customers. Hoping to attract consumers to see ads, and let them accept the purchase because they are too tired.

Example 1: Peloton, surely you will recognize the business specializing in the business of cycling machines through the form of livestream with a coach. You can’t watch any sports channel without being overwhelmed by their ads. “Ok, Peloton – let’s do this”, that’s always the opening sentence. She then showed off her personalized bike with an interactive touch screen: “David in Edinburgh – 200th episode”. That makes me a little worried. Can Leanne see all the people riding Peloton on her screen? Or is it just a board mounted on the car? Hope is case 2.

Cannes harbor, home of the Cannes Lions awards.

Big media spend and expensive filming location, that’s why bicycles are priced in the sky: £ 1995 / month, and don’t forget you have to spend another £ 39.50 for the monthly livestream tracking fee . This money is probably used to pay celebrities advertising products like Leonardo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman. Once again prove that Hollywood trends such as drugs, Kabbalah and Peloton should be condemned by people. Peloton will not bother the judges at Cannes this time, but decided to take a crude approach through constantly nurturing an audience instead of using natural creative genius. The brand has been priced more than $ 4 million, so their path is not necessarily wrong.

A business that will not win any Lion, is definitely Grammarly – the company has booked all YouTube advertising slots from Christmas last year to present and beyond. You can imagine the Marketing Manager going into Google with 20 million dollars in a briefcase. When asked who his target audience is, he simply said “everyone”, and then went out for lunch. The Trivago girl is also a bad example worth mentioning. Her appearance was even more meaningless than Holly Willoughby and Caroline Flack combined.

The value of good advertising

There are many big but lazy marketers viewing ads as a successful fight. However, there are many excellent marketers who are currently preparing for the Cannes Prize in the South of France. Hopefully their genius creation will be well deserved. Agencies on this list tend to follow a more natural route than nurture. It is the simplicity of strategic thinking, communication, pure content and innate intelligence that brings intelligent designs.

The creative award is a reminder that you can still motivate customers at a lower emotional level or price.

Look at some winners last year and you see the genius emanating in every breath. The campaigns were so powerful that they must have been able to viral in the 1860s, just factories and newspapers.

With all these wonderful creations, what else is there but personal and ageny ego? Having worked at both agency and client, I know that the award has huge PR benefits for an agency, along with promoting the career from a creative team trophy. On the client side, it is more difficult to commercialize efforts and costs to win an award. After mandatory social posts, internal mail and press releases that people overlook, trophies are often placed in glass cabinets in reception areas just for display. As a reminder of a bygone era when you were a brave business with great agencies, doing challenging work.

We now exist in a place that relies on data, in which nurturing data and analysis is more common than hunch, sixth sense and courage. Creative awards are a reminder: you can still influence customers’ decisions, based on the emotional level at a cheaper price without having to overwhelm them in raw advertising. For that reason, we should be happy that creative awards exist.

Hoang Hien / Brands Vietnam
* Source: Harry Lang / Marketingweek

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