Don’t just stand there. Do something. Anything!!!

Static (adj.): not in physical motion; the inertia of an object at rest

When something lulls you to a static state, there is hardly anything you remember of your surroundings or even what has brought you to that state. I think this is what Cobb defines as ‘limbo’ in the movie Inception. If you are at a beach lying under the glorious sun, this is your preferred, chosen and totally involved static state of being. However in the business of brands, this state of being for both the brand and its customer, is near coma. I am taking the liberty of defining the classic approach to communication that waits for the BIG CURTAIN RAISER before it starts its act, as the state of being ’static’.

Do brands really need a reason to start a conversation with its customers? Does it have to wait for the buying season or then the buying weekend? Can’t it surprise in the most unusual places and unexpected of times and start building memories when it’s the last thing on anyone’s mind. What if brands actually caught people at their most boring moments and made them laugh, dance, talk…whatever. Just amused them and walked away. With really no (visible) sales driven purpose. Or (visible) transaction in mind. What if it created this hoopla to simply brighten up a dull day. Not at the store. Any place else. Long queues. Signals. Beaches….Make a list. There are lots more I am sure.

WHY?

Brand experiences sometimes are so brand soaked that one can’t help but recognize, that it was attention grabbing for the single minded purpose of being wallet grabbing. For brand creators ROI is an important measurement that defines the brands’ success. But when did it really cost you to make people laugh? SMS jokes are viral, as are online videos. All they need is a trigger. Some remote spark will also do. Then its contagious. Here ‘EFFECTIVENESS OF REACH’ are words better left to classic communication experts.

Of course in India given our geography & economic conditions the ripple effect of such bright ideas is hardly visible. But there are many categories & brands that are conversing with  specific consumer profiles or in specific cities or have lean periods at certain times of the year. Great place & time to start something. To start anything that sets a pace for the brand to leave a happy, positive memory.

Here are a couple of (programmed) spontaneous moves made when least expected, that just caught on and possibly stayed on too.

Star Wars by Improv Everywhere (not brand initiated / cool concept though)

blah

Views: 2,535,269

T-Mobile

blah

Views: 21,737,798

Great way to change the ’static/inactive’ state of being, to something that creates a positive state of mind.

Positive = Favourable = Pre-disposition at the time of shopping

Brand conversations do need some pepping up sometimes. With really no ulterior motive. Just unconditional love.

Motion (noun.): a meaningful or expressive change in the position of the body or a part of the body; starts something


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5 Comments

  1. Natasha Mistry |

    I agree about breaking the routine. I liked the VW fun theory approach. They were making people change a habit in a lighthearted way. I think if a brand is interrupting my life it might as well have a good enough reason. So then why cant all advertising be humorous?

    • freshbrew team |

      Hi Natasha. I have to agree that laughter is undoubtedly the best medicine. Creating lighthearted moments help, when building a long term relationship. But I think it can’t be laughter all the way. We have this concept of ‘navarasas’ which is really the many emotional states of being. 1. Sringara = Beauty, Love 2. Hasya = Laughter, Joyfulness 3. Raudra = Anger 4. Karunya = Compassion 5. Bibhatsa = Disgust 6. Bhaya = Fear 7. Vira = Confidence, Heroism 8. Adbhuta = Being Awestruck, Curiosity 9. Shanta = Peace.

      I believe that brands help in either celebrating or inhibiting the above mental states. Advertising merely enhances the experience that brands want to create, through their tone of voice and execution. So while peppering brand stories with humor is great, some roles in consumers’ life have to be created by using the many rasas so that we truly understand and provide relevant solutions. And I do feel that humor or joyfulness should be explored at recurring points in the brands’ life cycle. Nothing like a good laugh once a while.

  2. I totally agree with you. Spontaneity is refreshing. And brands must experiment with it to surprise the consumers by snatching them from the clutches of routine thereby creating stickiness.

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