The facility of long-term pondering

Successful brands today need more than just an end line to grab audience attention. Here Stephen Hancock, ECD at TBWA Media Arts Lab in London, explains how setting up a platform for a brand enables more creative freedom

What is a campaign? Is it defined by the term, the number of assets and the communication plan? Or simply that the client and the agency refer to it as a campaign?

And how should we define the metrics of what the success of a campaign looks like? Short-term increases in sales, an increase in brand affinity, the non-measurable and easy-to-fuzz “cultural effects” or the accelerated number of impressions (always doubtful)?

As the traditional components of a campaign have collapsed, the traditional formula (a 30 second movie, etc.) has shifted to anything that works. The right work, aimed at the right people in the right place at the right time. More sniper than scattergun.

Campaigns have an immediacy, but they can also feel sporadic, random, and short-lived. They usually fly for a few weeks and then go away – landing a tactical point before the mark continues. All that great strategic thinking, creative investment, and clever media come and go. Blink and you miss it a lot.

This is where building a long-term brand platform works. Campaigns come and go, platforms keep their distance.

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