Quite often we see “one off,” “stand alone,” “one shot” ads. These ads are designed for a single purpose – an event, a special offer, a single purpose. But they really miss the boat.
Any advertising for a brand or product needs to be part of a continuing dialogue with your target consumers. It advances the definition of what the brand is, who it stands for and why your customers should be using it. It is part of its ever developing personality and character.
Because any successful brand is an on-going entity, there needs to be consistency in the advertising and the character of the advertising.
While there are many reasons for the success of brands, one of the critical factors is the consistency of the offerings that a brand makes.
When you go to a McDonalds anywhere, you count on a consistent experience. It is inherent in the signage, the branding. That is the whole message of franchising. Consistency of quality and offerings.
When the offerings, quality, service and pricing are all over the place, consumers lose their trust. They lose all ability to depend on the brand. That is why franchisors spend so much time, money and effort in inspecting their outlets for consistency.
Advertising is a critical part of the consumer dialogue.
The look, feel and messaging has to be consistent over time. Sure you can make different short term offers. But any ad should be seen as part of a continuing campaign that builds your brand.
One of the first things to ask an agency when new creative is presented is how the core concept could be used for other messages than the current short term need.
If the concept is too narrow to support the brand in other ways, TOSS IT OUT.
Look to the long run, if you want to have a brand that lasts. One frivolous inconsistent communication can spoil your brand’s image.
These ads shown were ones we did for a line of products from Parmalat. Each product was branded (logo and name) based on its performance characteristics. The campaign united them under one overall idea (they were milk based ingredients) more than just having the Parmalat branding did. The consistency of the advertising communicated consistency of quality.
Consider all the public personalities and politicians who make one frivolous off hand remark and sink their careers. It happens more than you would like to think.
They are their own brands and must pursue a clearly defined trajectory. It defines them. Advertising is the same. While it may limit somethings you might want to do, it creates a critical trust with your consumers that should never be betrayed.
Think of it this way – an ad that is one off might be building revenue, but a campaign is building equity. Campaigns build brands.