Strategically Creative: Are We Running Today?
Mar 3, 2017
At Centerline, we pride ourselves on creating content with intent. Content that is aligned with our client’s business goals, targeted at engaging specific audiences and built to drive that audience towards the intended action, through a call-to-action (CTA) or push to the next step.
It is not creative for creativity’s sake.
It’s what we call defendable or strategically informed creative. As a strategist, it is my job to dig in and understand the target audience—what are they thinking/feeling/doing, what are their daily challenges, what are their motivations, what channels or types of content do they prefer, etc.
We strive to stay customer-centric, reminding our creatives of the audience we are trying to reach—so the team is able to find the best, most strategically sound ideas within the creative concepts.
That’s why highly-strategic and unique creative concepts hold a small place in my heart.
A recent campaign I love for these reasons is the Nike’s ‘Time is Precious’ campaign.
Marketers develop personas to define and understand their audience. They develop buyer’s journeys to define changing user mindset and intent, and channel matrices to build content that aligns with all of this audience understanding.
But we often neglect to really overlay this thinking. We don’t specifically address how a user’s mindset and intent within specific channels can vary widely from our business motivation.
What I love about the ‘Time is Precious’ campaign is that it has a clearly defined storyline: It can be hard to find time to exercise, but if we think about how we spend our limited, precious free time, we can eliminate non-value-add activities to make time to run and better our lives.
And while one longer-cut video tells that general story, individual cuts are then seeded in specific channels to be hyper-focused and speak directly to users in that channel.
‘Zombies’ and ‘Celebrity’ cuts poke directly at the time we spend watching television and were played during episodes of The Walking Dead and Real Housewives XYZ.
But they didn’t stop there. We’ve seen brands place specifically targeted commercials during popular shows. That’s not new.
What is incredibly unique though is how they took things further to craft messages and cuts to live in specific social channels, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter that speak directly to the type of content that already lives in those channels, but also the mindset a user has in each of those channels when they pop in (potentially subconsciously) to take a break, veg out and probably procrastinate from other things they could be doing.
The ‘Pictures’ cut perfectly captures the mindset of how someone uses Instagram, taking jabs at how users scroll through endless photos of sunsets, selfies, other people on vacation, dogs, cats, even going as far as specifically calling out the ‘Mannequin Challenge,’ which was big at the campaign’s release.
It’s eerily accurate, captivating, and makes the viewer not only acknowledge the campaigns understanding of how you use Instagram, but also causes you to evaluate how much value you really get from the time you spend on it.
The ‘Friends’ cut goes directly after Facebook, poking at our newsfeeds full of birthday wishes from distant acquaintances, photos of people on vacation, opinions and rants from people we don’t really care to hear, and even the poor retargeting ads we see for products we’ve already bought.
And finally, the ‘Opinions’ cut goes after the flood of opinions, hashtag abuses and political rhetoric that floods our Twitter feeds (note: the election had just ended, so it was timely to lean heavily on politics for Twitter).
The brilliance of this campaign lies in the minimalist creative execution that not only stands out, but allows them to focus in deeply on words and phrases that immediately bring to mind each platform, and the mindsets of the users of each.
Agree? Disagree? Tell me what you think on Twitter, I’m @j_t_moore.