dinsdag 18 november 2008

branding at the speed of law

You've probably read, seen or heard about this. It's the reality of business today. Shit can hit the fan. But what peakes my interest is the fact that it's a losing reality for most brands. Why?

The legal department.
The aim of the game back in the day was to protect image. And when it comes to that game, most major companies are well equiped. cease and desist, halting actions.
Only nobody told them the citizens are playing a different game. A bit like cops and robbers, Batman and the Joker.

It's about being able to talk the fluid fast paced, truth based talk. How may companies are structured in such a way that they know the exact margins of communication, so that they can act without concern and stay in conversation?
So riddle me this agencies:

When it comes to briefing or presenting strat + concepts, how many are concerned with the facilitation of an ongoing dialogue from a legal structure p.o.v.?

For so many intergrated agencies it seems that ad/marketing and p.r. are still seen as silo's and not letters that, read out loud, form the word experience.
Yet if you do not set yourselves up to learn real time, you are just setting yourselve up to fail. And just thinking about the initial setup whereby courting controversy (which in turn can ignite passionate followers and fierce detractors; the bedrock of branding against beige) is in some cases a viable way to go, is not enough. It's always about the next move.
Asking yourselve questions like: what if we don't create followers, but just piss people of ? What is our Time to Reponse ?

As a client I would very much appreciate the fact that my ad team has legal experts on board who played a role in the overal strategy and have paved the way for advertising and pr to flow into one another. Creativity is reading and knowing the fineprint. And this is not a plea for further focus group testing, this is simply asking companies and agencies to level the playingfield for themselves so that they are not hijacked.
For as long as a brand does not truly belong to it's consumers (in every sense of the way) companies have to think about how to become as agile as citizens. Or at least know what game they are in and the rules that apply.

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