WRITTEN BY STEPHEN ROYCROFT, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT KROW IRELAND

Times for big ideas

Our industry has always branded itself on its insight led connectivity which binds brands, customers and now more than ever, times. Times are tough, pain is endemic in many families, money is tight and empathy has never been more important. These times are conversely seasoned with joy too – the seduction of new routines, the clapping communities, creative frontiers of trying something new, undistanced time with those close to you, and the lockdown quiz!!

Big and small brands have picked up on the seismic nuancing, not just as businesses seeking to survive (if not prosper), but as feeling organisations that understand the collective experience we all now share.  Impeded communication, distanced connections, tech talk being the discourse not the topic; and remote rapport is an influencer skill in rapid evolution. Brands and people are learning anew in the same moments – real time so to speak; communicating with those they value in virtual spaces and places . And so the user generated, people power execution of here/now advertising is not just imitating reality, it is a participant.

But only the very first to frame-grab this execution will benefit, the followers won’t be followed for long, because the righteous moment has rightfully passed. Brands need ideas.

As advertising agencies we must make ambitious brands unique – ideas must triumph over mere execution.  Where execution is thrust upon us – production values and the cast now sat at the kitchen table, in the spare room, cross legged on the bed – brands must make big positive impacts with creativity that has a genuine emotion at its core; rather than a patina of being current.  Just as fatigued handheld wobbly camera action is not enough anymore, split screens and crap audio will wear thin with an audience who wants to be understood as well informed, elevated as well as entertained. So execute as one can, be as current as one wishes; but only with creativity and genuine emotional connection, on a road shared with customers, will brands be able to go the distance out of these times.

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