It has been a long while. I’ve been busy replying to all the hate mail i got from a previous post . But hey at least freedom of speech is not dead. Which brings back memories of the Nivea for Men Ad that ran a last week. the Ad got a lot of heat coming mostly from the black community worldwide. I know my African friends were pissed. I was too, but then as an Adman I was somewhat empathetic of the team that developed the idea. I don’t agree with their view of what civilized is, i just understand what it feels like to have a big idea.
Being in advertising is more than just manufacturing pop culture and cultures in general. It’s about creating a lifestyle. nurturing dreams and ambition. Unfortunately most often times, we get away from that and start focusing on other things. Like being Avant guarde, Edgy, revolutionary, or my favorite “groundbreaking”. Well let me send a courtesy wake up call. Big ideas are dead. Long gone. It’s all about being able to connect, execute and create a brand new unique need.
Execution is key my friends, i will never say that enough. Sure you will say: “if you don’t have a big idea, you don’t have execution”. In my opinion, i’ll buy a product from a well executed poor idea. I’m looking at you Snuggie. Don’t get me wrong, ideas are important, but good ideas are really rare these days. As a matter a fact we can count the last good ideas: Facebook, Twitter, Dre Beats, Apple redefining cool, and Google. (There’s more but they’ll be relevant in 2 years.)
What’s the common thread between these ideas? they are simple ideas that were well executed therefore creating their own culture amassing huge following. Why? because they were able to connect. How? The created their “Own brand new Sweet Spot”. In other words, they created a need that didn’t exist. Not sure where i’m going with this? it’s ok me neither. Just joking (maybe…)
Let’s look at Beats by Dre for example. Initially they created a unique need: “detailed sound” which is different from “better sound” or “superior sound quality”. Detailed sound means you can hear, and identify everything. I didn’t know I needed that, until I tested a pair and notice the difference.
I also pay particular attention to the company’s ability to bypass the agency relationship. How? They created their own following using a niche that they were uniquely able to connect with by using cultural landmarks and icons that their audience associate with. Instead of looking at agency for strategy, they looked at cultural icons and gave them the freedom to use, connect, and improve their product. They even gave the ability to those icons to create their own brand within the brand. The result execution specifically tailored to each subculture. Gaga’s Monsters Beats, and the Power Beats by Lebron James to name a few. Each of these icons, have their own culture, and their own following. The chain reaction is endless. Beats is sitting on layer upon layer of culture. As a result, Beats are cool.
The real value of an idea is in the execution. I’m not saying ideas are worth nothing. Just that more attention should be payed to the execution. I think i just have a problem with the appellation “Big idea”. So remember, the big idea is dead. The new idea create a unique need. Success follows only if you’re able to connect and execute. If your idea meets those requirements, make sure you fight for it. As much as this video shows.
*Warning* the video is really gore and graphic. But in essence, it shows what it means to fight for a good idea.