Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Live Life- don't watch it

That's what the latest Puma ad says.

It's all about the Internet and Reality shows not ruling our lives and acting as a beacon for what it takes to be in the spotlight. It's not about recognising reality show created gags and quabbles and fights as the new action on screen and crowning the one who survives or sparks off the most spats as the winner.

It's about living the action for real. In real life.

Quite a leap when most brands, especially the ones directed at women, show the ultimate high in life as making it to a reality show on TV. Fake smiles, applause and voila- a new star is born.

Or is she?

This is the debate that always rages in my mind.

Should brands ride the tide or create new waves?
Should and can brands lead or do they follow?
How do we connect to youth? By showing them as they are or what they should or would want to be.

Most of the portrayal of youth as they are in ads are because the brand teams are strongly dependent on focus groups.
My opinion on focus groups have been expressed in quite a few blogs.
Essential to vet BUT not to create and think strategies for us.

Brands which have the power to lead often shy away from doing so because of the fear of alienation.
Why rock the boat internally and with consumers with something new, bold and almost rebellious?
Let's just play by the book and depend on the creative and production to deliver an outstanding execution.

Hardly works, when the insight itself is no longer an insight but an observation about external behaviour manifestation.

Another good example is the new Pepsi Football ad that moves away from a tried and tested and played to death game of cricket in ads and takes on a new sport, aptly under its Change the Game proposition. Again, the brand leads.

Almost creates the path.

Like all iconic brands should.