5 great ads based on a unique consumer insight

 

Consumer InsightsWhat is a Consumer Insight? An insight is not something that consumers ever knew before. That would be knowledge, not insight.  It’s not data or fact about your brand that you want to tell. Oddly enough, Insight is something that everyone already knows. 

Consumer Insights are little secrets hidden beneath the surface, that explain the underlying behaviors, motivations, pain points and emotions of your consumers. Consumer Insights come to life when they are told in such a captivating way that makes consumers stop and say “Hmmm, that’s exactly how I feel. I thought I was the only one who felt like that.” That’s why we laugh when seeing the way that insight is projected with humor, why we get goose bumps when insight is projected with inspiration and why we cry when the insight comes alive through real-life drama. Here’s how it shows up in great advertising.

Dove “Real Beauty”

We know that the women we see up on the runway are size 2, 103 pounds and likely 17. Movie stars have had plastic surgery. We know that print ads, even with the most beautiful women, have been photo-shopped. There are real problems in our current society with anorexia, anxiety and depression about appearance. Dove’s insight of “Women in all shapes, sizes, look are still beautiful. Let’s stop idolizing the fake and start living in the real world. Let’s be happy with what we look like”. Women connected with this insight because they already felt that way, but were just glad someone was finally saying it.

Benylin “Take a Benylin Day”

Can you ever imagine a cough medicine telling their consumers to take a day off? This one is one of my ads from a decade ago, so I know it well. Let me share the science of cough medicine: a cold lasts 7 days WITHOUT cough medicine and a cold lasts 7 days WITH a cough medicine. The big drug companies fear you will ever find that out. But in reality, the role of a cough medicine is not to cure you but to comfort you.

The insight here is that “Having a cold really sucks, trying to fight through it and get to work sucks, even more, I know in the back of my mind I should call in sick and just take a day to get better. What is with all these medicines telling me how to get back to work?” Benylin captured consumers by portraying how consumers feel when they get a cold. They were happy someone was giving them permission to take a day off and rest. Online, we even gave them a script and practice sessions for how to call in sick.

Ikea “It’s just a lamp”

It’s a gutsy move by Ikea to admit that their furniture is disposable. But in reality, Ikea has loyal fans that keep coming back to the store. This Lamp ad captures consumers who connect to the insight about “whey hang onto this old lamp, it’s crazy, just get this year’s better model”.

Stella Artois “Home from the War”

Stella is a premium beer, not for all occasions. It’s worth savoring, not wasting on the everyday moments. Here is a son returning from war, his dad is so relieved to see him and the obvious moment is to give him a Stella to celebrate his return. But, the dad views Stella was such a high regard that “I love my Stella so much that I would not waste Stella, even on the man who saved my son’s life”.

Nike “Find Your Greatness”

There is a fat kid inside most of us. This ad was aired during the Olympics when the best of the best are celebrated and those who come 4th are chastised. “I know working out is good for me. I am never going to win a medal. But I still want to improve, just a little”.  We don’t have to push to win a gold medal to be motivated to get out there and run.

To read the Beloved Brands training presentation on how to get Better Advertising, click on this SlideShare presentation: 

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You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a brand plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution and analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.

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At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profitability you will realize in the future.

The best solutions are likely inside you already, but struggle to come out. Our unique engagement tools are the backbone of our strategy workshops. These tools will force you to think differently so you can freely generate many new ideas. At Beloved Brands, we bring our challenging voice to help you make decisions and refine every potential idea.

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We start by defining a brand positioning statement, outlining the desired target, consumer benefits and support points the brand will stand behind. And then, we build a big idea that is simple and unique enough to stand out in the clutter of the market, motivating enough to get consumers to engage, buy and build a loyal following with your brand. Finally, the big idea must influence employees to personally deliver an outstanding consumer experience, to help move consumers along the journey to loving your brand.

We will help you write a strategic brand plan for the future, to get everyone in your organization to follow. It starts with an inspiring vision that pushes your team to imagine a brighter future. We use our strategic thinking tools to help you make strategic choices on where to allocate your brand’s limited resources. We work with your team to build out project plans, creative briefs and provide advice on marketing execution.

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Graham Robertson bio

 

Ikea: “Long Live the Home” is Easy to Love

I’ve always loved Ikea.   As a kid, I’d pour through their catalogues reconfiguring my room in my mind.  Most recently, I took my 13-year-old girl to Ikea and she must have said about 38 times “I’m serious Dad, I want that.”   I can sympathize.

Ikea is fully committed to creating magic for their consumers, whether it is in product designs or in their advertising.    Whether it was the Ikea Lamp Ad (“Many of you feel bad for this lamp.  That is because you’re crazy…”) or the Subway ad where they took a plain and boring subway car and turned it into a lively home you could live in.   Ikea was in the same class as Volkswagen where they’d surprise and delight you on a regular basis.   However, over the last few years, the ads seemed to be missing the magic—I was trying to understand the symbolic nature of the ads, but it wasn’t really connecting with me.  The risk of talking to yourself is you don’t connect and you lose your beloved status.   Ask the Gap.

But this year, Ikea has begun to make their advertising comeback, thanks to the powers of Leo Burnett who can turn brand purpose into brand magic.   And while Ikea always had great ads, it was always hard to piece these ads together until “Long Live the Home” came along this year to establish a Big Idea in the marketplace.   The work is truly beautiful.

One of the hardest things to do is come up with a Big Idea for a Brand, especially in the case of a Branded House.   For a case like Ikea, the idea needs to be big enough to establish the brand idea, yet still sell kitchen cabinets, chairs and closets.   Internal conflict gets in the way of creating a Big Idea and standing behind it:  a) how much brand vs product b) how much equity vs selling c) who makes the ad and finally d) who pays for it internally—brand or product marketing?    You really need to commit to making it happen, and gain the full support across the organization—usually starting from the Top.   Big Ideas like “Think Different”, “Just Do It” and “I’m Loving It” are some of the best examples of Idea lines that connect the brand with consumers and even transform their way right into the culture of everything they do.  That’s where Ikea needs to go next.

There are many brand and business benefits to a Big Idea.   Big ideas should have a 5-10 year life, giving brands a consistent idea to connect behind.   It makes it easier to come back to the brief each year.  Also, there becomes a tone, a character and sometimes a series of devices that help frame the Idea that makes it easier to control how the brand shows up, over time, across various mediums and across the various business units.

Ikea follows the best in class use of the Big Idea, with a 60 second anthem style Ad to establish the Big Idea in the consumers mind, and then separate product ads across various mediums and built into the website, in-store and catalogue.   The TV ads are beautifully shot and connect on a deeply emotinal level, the print ads of high quality and connect.  I really like the unique product Ads they’ve done wheter it is TV ads that sell kitchens or print ideas that sell closets, while staying within the Big Idea.

However, I didn’t notice the idea making its way when I looked at the store level.  I’d love to see “Long Live the Home” be built right into the Ikea culture, brought down to the store level and even begin to influence their customer service.   The big idea becomes more than a tag line, but rather a promise the brand stands behind at every stage of the brand. Without the full comittment to brand all the way through the Love Curve, the magic of the great advertising and cool product designs sets up a High Promise that Ikea struggles to deliver at the experience stage and leaves consumers yearning for more.

That commitment to brand at every touch point has helped propel the Apple brand to the next stratosphere of Beloved Brand.  Ikea, you’ve done such a fantastic job with the advertising, my only ask is that you keep going to make it part of the brand. 

As a bonus for fans of past Ikea Advertising, here is Lamp and the Subway Spots.