Today we conclude the Audiolytics™ Master Class. But, as the Wizard Gandalf once said, “End? No, the journey doesn’t end here.” Rest assured, there will be more to come in 2020. For a review of where we’ve been so far, click on the links or jump down to enjoy the elucidation of the Ninth Audiolytics™ Key Component, “Execution.”
“The more you see, the less you know…”
Paul David Hewson, Irish Poet
I lead with this quote because creative is subjective. As subjective as each person is unique. Yes, there are many guiding principles and commonalities. But there is an X factor. We all know it. The thing that makes you YOU is the same kind of thing that makes one piece of creative stand out and be remembered over all the others. The longer I do this, the more I experience—and appreciate—this truth.
“I’ve directed over 1,000 commercials and the key to repeated success is to polish the script and prep the shoot methodically. But the magic happens when you embrace chaos and random whims of inspiration. Screw the process when magic strikes. But what folks misunderstand is…you can’t disrespect the process unless you first know to respect the process.”
In Oxford Road’s case, the process is the Audiolytics™ formula and the final Key Component is Execution. It’s HOW you communicated everything included in the first 8 Key Components and then the fact that Execution is the LAST Audiolytics™ Key Component is very much intentional. How often is a marketing message kicked off with a little too vague definition of the business goal and then catapulted into admittedly exciting creative conversations about HOW we’re going to say it. That approach is backwards.
First of all, how are you going to measure success?
Then, how long do you have to get there?
Once you’ve answered these questions, then determine when that will be measured. Every day? Every week? Or is your advertisement simply meant to make people aware that you exist? No matter what your answers are, the first Eight Audiolytics™ Key Components will ensure you will have all of the elements needed to make up your marketing message.
Part of answering all those questions is research. Todd Lauer, VP of Brand & Creative at LendingTree, talked with me about how LendingTree’s tagline for sixteen years, “When Banks Compete, You Win” was developed. In a focus group of actual LendingTree users in 2002 a woman said, “It was kinda like, when banks compete, I win!” Start with your customer reviews, put them all in a spreadsheet and scour them for similarities and for statements like this one. Then invite a few of your customers in and just talk to them. It’s practically free and may just give you a tagline for the rest of the life of your company.
Is the advertisement intended to be part of a campaign that is 60% Awareness and 40% Activation? Whatever the mix is, how long will it take you to get there? Are you attempting to raise your share of voice so as to raise your share of market? (a very good idea by the way). Or are you simply putting a message out that you believe needs to exist in the world? Are you attempting to raise consideration or simply going for a newsworthy piece of creative and don’t care what the consequences are if you put out something considered offensive by some or many?
But there is something ELSE, and we all know it. Henry Ford talked about it late in his career. After making the ultimate boiler plate of boiler plate products he admitted there was something to this “style” thing. Call it chaos, call it emotion, or call it story appeal. We’ve been working on communicating with each other for a LONG time. It’s a tool as old as almost any other. At least 44,000 years in the making. To do this, we have to talk to each other in a way that is easily understood by other people living in the cave. “Want to hunt the buffalo? Go to the big magnolia tree and hang a left.”
Having answers to all Eight Audiolytics™ Key Components and all Seventy One Subcomponents is critical, but…It doesn’t mean you use them ALL in every marketing message. Sometimes, you don’t need to tell a story. For Target’s LA billboard—because they’ve spent decades and billions of dollars building the brand—all they needed to do is tell the audience where they’re located. Answering the questions within the Audiolytics™ framework equips you with everything you need based on your goals. Only then can you use the final Key Component, Execution, to…
“Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating. You know you can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.”
- David Ogilvy, Advertising Legend
A couple of things we measure in the Execution section are 1) whether the way the advertisement is constructed and presented enhances and avoids detracting from the marketing goal and, 2) based on the goal, is everything in the advertisement in the correct order? For instance, we often see ads that are constructed to Activate the audience immediately that are out of the prescribed Audiolytics™sequence and contain more “entertainment” than substance. The efforts of the creative teams who put together this work are designed to stimulate emotion in the audience—but it comes at the price of clarity and potency. Especially when stacked up against the advertisement’s stated goal.
Then, your data comes in. But, be careful. I’ve heard many a marketer claim, “We’re insanely obsessed with data.” Well, so are conspiracy theorists. When it comes to creative, make sure you’ve respected the process and answered ALL 71 Audiolytics™ Subcomponents. Then, switch off your targeting computer and use the Force to allow for the Chaos. Find the X Factor and put it in your advertisement. You know what “good” is and you know what “memorable” is, but the key to getting there is courage—so dig deep. Once you have your goal defined then it’s all in the packaging. It’s all in how the message is delivered. The quote I started this article with isn’t just by an Irish Poet, it’s a lyric in a song by U2.
“The more you see, the less you know…”
You know who he is because he hasn’t taken his sunglasses off since the early 1990s. Because his style is unique. Because he does memorable things and even changed his name to something memorable. Here’s to the courage to be as memorable as Bono in our advertisements—so that they achieve best in market performance at maximum viable scale.
Be brave. Be brave. Be brave.