How does your job fit into the advertising process? I am the link between CBA’s clients and its creative teams. I work a lot on product packaging design and brand activation.
What is brand activation? Brand activation involves ensuring that consumers interact positively with the brand at all the different touch points consumers have with the brand: promotions, packaging design, digital, on the street, in the grocery store, at the checkout counter; wherever.
Secondly, brand activation is controlling how the consumer feels about the brand after coming into contact with it.
Can you give an example? Most recently, I was involved in an enormous brand activation campaign for Lipton Ice Tea during the late-spring/early-summer period – Lipton’s peak sales period.
We came up with the “Summer Days” push during that time period which included a special-edition promotional product packaging, beach and college campus tours that directed people to a website that offered an enormous giveaway: special summer-time gift boxes, thousands of sunglasses, and a round trip voyage to Brazil.
For this brand activation campaign, in-store, outdoor, metro, and bus stop advertisements, public relations campaigns, and stickers were posted everywhere pushing people to visit Lipton’s Summer Days website and enter the giveaway.
But brand activation is much, much bigger than simply launching a giveaway and then driving people to your landing page to sign up. Brand activation is about meeting an objective. It’s about actively taking control of the consumer’s image of your brand by creating an experience around it as a way of explaining your brand’s core values, vision and unique selling point as well as showcasing your products.
Brand activation is also more strategic than simply paying for advertising – you should expect to see a greater return on investment during a brand activation campaign than on a traditional advertising campaign because brand activation campaigns are designed to be more strategic and target consumers in different touchpoints. Also, the ROI of a brand activation campaign is more easily measureable than that of a public relations campaign or an advertising campaign (excluding online campaigns where you can monitor conversion rates in real-time).
Moreover, for Lipton’s high peak period we also did a print campaign to inform consumers that Lipton offered new tastes available and support the ‘Summer Days’ brand activation push.
In this case, we combined a below the line brand activation campaign with an above the line advertising campaign that contributed to building great brand awareness.
I also recently worked on a campaign for Smartbox.
as well as Truvia’s Facebook fanpage
What are 2-3 of your favorite advertising/marketing campaigns?
What are some misconceptions clients usually have about the work you do? CBA is a design company. We produce design and it can be easy for them to buy creative content. As an account manager, I’m in constant contact with clients to understand their needs and to provide them with the most effective strategic answer; which is most of the time a creative answer. As a result, clients sometimes don’t have a good value perception of our commercial position for our creative solutions. This means that often times agencies need to justify their solutions.
For example, I was once in the final stages of a print advertising campaign for a food product, and at the last minute the client decided that they didn’t like the photo image of their product. Further, they sent us a low-resolution iphone JPEG photo of an ‘example’ of the type of product shot that they wanted, asking us to substitute their low-res photo into the high-res final campaign.
The problem was that EVERYTHING in the campaign was based on the original photo that they had originally agreed upon and to request such a significant and foundational change so late in the process was going to cost them a fortune in setting up the additional photo shoot.
Like asking a carpenter to modify the parameters of the foundation of a house after he has already begun working on it; those modifications are going to be costly. The only way to avoid this is to know what you want during the brainstorm and planning stages BEFORE you begin investing your time and money in the project.
What are a few website you go to for inspiration?
For advertising and trends:
I want to do your job, any advice? Never forget that advertising is a service industry, and so you must think about client service first and foremost. This is imperative in building and maintaining a strong relationship with your client from the beginning.
I’m a small brand with a budget, any advice? Brand color is important but doesn’t have to be set in stone. Consider McDonalds, for example. For years McDonalds was known as yellow and red. Now they’re rebranding themselves with yellow and green.
Nothing is sacred.