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The phrase “there’s nothing new under the sun” is pretty old itself — it’s the source is the Book of Ecclesiastes. Yet that ancient proverb is still relevant today, as it’s also the lament of just about every creative director and content editor. This sea of monotony does have one upside: Businesses that pursue creative brand consulting to help generate original ideas will earn a significant competitive edge.
The value of originality
Our world is a derivative one. If you need proof, just look at Hollywood’s endless procession of remakes and superhero franchises, the music industry’s love of cover songs, and the advertising industry’s tendency to copycat and mimic. Hey, it’s easier to copy something that works rather than developing original material, right?
Sure, it’s easier — but it’s also much less effective. The law of diminishing returns kicks in, as the third and fourth versions of a great new idea always have much less impact. Given that we’re all surrounded by advertising, we’ve become inured to it in many ways. If brands want to truly engage an audience and snap them to attention, they need to be boldly original. They need creative brand consulting.
One great example of this is a recent ad campaign from Farmer’s Insurance. The insurance industry isn’t particularly exciting, but companies within the sector have found some success by creating standout characters (the AFLAC duck, Flo from Progressive, etc.).
Farmer’s has employed the Oscar-winning character actor J.K. Simmons to much the same effect recently. In a recent campaign, Farmer’s created a 60-second ad based on “Oh, the Places You Will Go” by Dr. Seuss, with Simmons providing the narration.
The commercial had a special hook, however: Farmer’s took actual claims from customers and reimagined them as Dr. Seuss stories, complete with whimsical rhyming narration. Farmer’s and its ad agency partner RPA took added pains to ensure the end product adhered closely to Seussian style, both in terms of style and quality.
The result was deeply clever incorporation of the core business (insurance claims coverage) into a larger creative message that emphasized experience and exploration. To top things off, the ad was released on the 115th birthday of Dr. Seuss.
Why originality is the ultimate differentiator
The next time you’re consuming content, take some time to really watch the ads and marketing message you’re being served. You’ll find that a handful of them are fantastic — and the majority are utterly forgettable.
Forgettable is one of the worst things you can say about an advertisement. So why do so many brands settle for mediocrity? Part of it can be ascribed to the agencies with which they’re partnering. It’s not easy generating original ideas, and generating these ideas to work within the specific context on an ad campaign is even more difficult. This means agencies have an incentive to settle for “OK” when they should be aiming much higher.
It’s the responsibility of businesses to demand original and highly engaging ideas. While this work isn’t easy, the right creative brand consulting firm can deliver the kind of deeply original advertising and marketing content that audiences find impossible to ignore.
At BIGEYE, we understand the value of originality — and we have the resources and talent to take advantage of it. We specialize in creating advertising and marketing campaigns that engage audiences and deliver maximum ROI for brands.
If you’d like to hear more about the power of truly original work, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.