Stuck in an advertising rut? Try this..

By November 21, 2023News

Need to rebrand? If so, read this first.

The communication of a message is core to our jobs in marketing, but what happens when that message or the product is tired, boring, uninspiring, or not hitting the mark? Or how do you achieve that shareable and radical rebrand?

Humans are social animals, they seek a pack because apart from safety in numbers, loneliness affects physical health. Anyone with kids will know the relief when they find ‘their tribe’, or maybe you remember the invincibility you felt when you found yours? 

When you find your pack there is a biologically wired instinct to fall into some semblance of authority: a leader, whether appointed or naturally occurring, is important for survival, but so is the dogsbody. Margaret Heffernan’s brilliant TED talk about Super Chickens has stayed with me; if you haven’t watched it, you must. It’s a tempering watch for those high fliers amongst us, and validating to those of us who generally find ourselves to be distinctly average day-in and day-out!

One of the world’s undisputed greatest thinkers on Behavioural Science in Marketing is Rory Sutherland; whether or not you are aware of him – his books and TED talks will leave an impression on your mind and a smile on your face – your life will most certainly have been touched by his insight, particularly if your job is in marketing.

Sutherland explains how perception and reality form the crux of our consumer decisions, be they materialistic or experiential. You can rebrand almost anything, and without spoiling too much, I will just say the words: ‘potatoes’ and ‘shreddies’, and encourage you to google ‘Lessons from an Ad Man’. 

For me, an Aperol Spritz was a bitter, luridly orange, sugary fad that seemed to come out of nowhere around 2019. Stoic in my refusal to bow to the orange obsessed masses, I rejected the trend, smug in my imperviousness to the clever Italian marketing geniuses at Aperol. Fast-forward to a snowy, sunny Alpine terrace in the heady return to the slopes of early 2022, and the ubiquity of that drink – that could surely only be endured by those fools who love nothing more than a bandwagon? – suddenly became irresistibly delicious. 

Aperol 1 – Me 0. 

Communication is contextual and despite our fervent efforts to think independently and believe that we are indeed thinking so, we remain, at our most basic biological level, an animal that seeks to be part of a pack, either as a leader; early adopter, influencer; or as one of the cool kids with the latest pencil case, trainers or iphone. 

For anyone in the marketing space right now, there are a hundred- and- one ways to cut through the noise, but nudging the subconscious of the human psyche will most readily be found in, as Rory Sutherland explains, intangible value creation. 

What does – or could – your brand do differently?


Author Gina

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