Was thinking last night…
When done right, advertising is really about the discovery and innovative distribution of meaning that already exists. Products, services, things and activities in the world have meaning attached to them. And it’s up to us, as marketing people, to find that meaning (especially if it hasn’t been noticed en masse) and come up with an engaging way to tell people about it.
The worst ads aim to create meaning. (I’ll forgive those ads that just gloss over meaning entirely for humor/shock’s sake). I just don’t think it’s possible to create meaning out of thin air. I guess that’s where research comes in. But for me, the best research finds the stories associated with whatever I’m trying to sell.
That’s why this Wieden Starbucks stuff is so good. People that love going to coffee shops will find these stains beautiful, and perhaps associate them with a memory.
I can certainly relate.
And please note, when I say advertising, I’m not talking just about traditional stuff. I’m talking generally about communications, in all formats/media.
From here on out, I am going to focus on what sounds like a much simpler task than I had previously imagined it:
Find some interesting meaning or story. Create an interesting way to tell people about it.