It’s called a brief, so let’s keep it that way.

mens-underwearOkay people, let’s get down to business here. How many of you have written creative briefs for your agency that included page-upon-page of research, data, analysis and much more? I’m assuming most of you. Now, this is NOT a bad thing. In fact, it’s a GREAT thing to provide. So we applaud you for overdelivering on the background info we might need.

BUT… when it comes down to the heart of what you want the agency to deliver for you creatively, it’s best to keep it short and sweet. The immersion is the key area where we intend to learn anything and everything about your brand, business, category and consumer. This is where the data-dump should take place.

Whereas the actual initiative we are working on should be able to be interpreted in one-page or less. References to examples that you’d consider benchmarks are always a plus.

If you do this and hear crickets, then the agency just doesn’t get it and maybe the long-form is necessary. However, more times than not, the agency will appreciate the synthesis of your objectives, and be able to move ahead much more efficiently with the task at hand.

So the next time you’re getting ready to pull the trigger on that brief, try and remember this tip. It will save you time on both ends.

Thanks for reading, and let us know if this was helpful, or if you need help crafting that brief.

Creatures of Habit

Brands and marketers spend a lot of time and money with “new and exciting” initiatives based purely on trends that are influencing their consumers. But what they should be doing is improving their existing products and marketing efforts based on consumer habits.

As consumers, we are programmed to intuitively select the products and brands we need based on what looks familiar (e.g., the easiest decision to make). And as marketers, “the goal is to make consumers repeat their purchases by matching the value proposition to their needs.” Consumers don’t want to spend the mental energy when shopping (online or in-store for that matter), so why make them?

Branding, Design, Advertising, MarketingThe solution for brands lies within understanding the habits of their consumers, and evolving or improving upon them based on what their brains are programmed to be looking for. And unless consumers are absolutely screaming for a change, and the return is solid for your business, then making a dramatic change is no bueno.

Brands like Coke, Tropicana, GAP, and many more have undergone redesigns in some capacity over the years. Consumers didn’t demand it. They weren’t educated on the change, nor provided a real rationale. The result was backlash, and even a decline in sales, which pushed the brands to quickly go back to the original. A lot of time and money lost. However, sometimes it pays off (only if the demand is there), but often times it doesn’t.

There are more examples and insights we could share, but we simply don’t have the time, nor blog post space to do so. That said, we want to leave you with this very simple message: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if you decide to fix it, make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t disrupt the habits of your consumers.

Four wheeling hostel

Skoda

Skoda, a Czech Republic based auto manufacturer, was recently looking for an intriguing way to reach out to young buyers and increase sales of their compact car. This sounds like every other auto manufacturers’ mission, so how do they did Skoda break through the clutter? They turned their car into a hostel of course!

The Skoda Hostel campaign, was launched earlier this summer in Russia, at the peak of the festival season, when thousands of young Russians would be traveling to Moscow. Travelers were looking for cheap places to stay, and hostels were the go to. The Skoda Hostel was fully equipped with the basic essentials such as fresh linens, privacy curtains and a private portable bathroom for a one night stay for two guests.

The Skoda Hostel was unlike anything guests had experienced. Patrons were not charged for their stay, and were even encouraged to drive the car around the city. In lieu of payment, guests were asked to tweet, post and share their experience on social media.

What sparked our fire: World’s smallest social media driven, mobile hotel.

Would this campaign have been successful in the US?

Enjoy!

-Canopy Team

Hyundai’s zombie survival vehicle

zombie carzombie car1

In general, most auto manufactures tend to focus on protecting drivers against road conditions, other drivers and extreme weather. Hyundai has taken its focus to another level by teaming up with a digital marketing agency and the creators of The Walking Dead, to design a zombie survival machine. The result is a fully operational Elantra Coupe that can survive any zombie attack. In addition to the concept car, a mobile app called the Walking Dead Chop Shop, has been created allowing fans to design their own survival cars. This idea was inspired by Hyundai’s product integration in The Walking Dead last year.

What sparked our fire: Hyundai’s transition to an indestructible brand.

What post-apocalytpic logic will influence your survival machine?

Enjoy!

-Canopy Team

Doughnut’s voodoo magic

voodoo doughnuts

Doughnuts are about as American as French fries and apple pie, but you’ve never seen them quite like this. Voodoo Doughnuts, Voodoo Doughnut, based in Portland, Oregon, is baking outrageous and over-the-top doughnuts ranging from bacon glazed and bubblegum to NyQuil-laced and voodoo doll shaped.

Many customers drive from hours away and stand in ridiculously long lines for the chance to nosh on Voodoo’s fried dough goodness. Why jump through all of these hoops? Some say it’s the eclectic variety of flavors while others say it’s the dining experience. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear, Voodoo Doughnut has definitely created a one-of-a-kind experience that brings back nostalgic childhood memories and pushes the doughnut-making envelope. They are not afraid to test the water and create pastries that are controversial both in flavor and cultural context. Nothing is off limits, nothing. If you don’t believe us, check out their website for the full menu, www.voodoodoughnut.com.

What sparked our fire: The instant mouth-watering sensation we experienced after seeing these doughnuts for the first time. But seriously, the way local bakeries have no shame in pushing the limits.

Will other restaurants jump on the bandwagon to attract more customers?

Enjoy!

-Canopy Team