They say that travel broadens the mind. I don’t know who “they” are, but any excuse to sit on a beach drinking from a coconut am I right? I decided to take this advice and whisk myself on a journey of self-discovery all the way to….Dublin. That’s right, I spent the past weekend on the Emerald isle. Home to an accent that’s more than dreamy, more shamrocks than you can shake a stick at and of course, Guinness.
But I didn’t just travel a perilous 45 minutes on a death tube in the sky to try Guinness. I wanted to visit the crème de le crème of the Irish beer drinking experience, obviously. The Guinness Storehouse. (You’re probably thinking, what the hell has my trip got to do with marketing? But I’ll get to that bit, just hang on).
Amongst all the alcoholic tales and processes of production, The Guinness Storehouse has almost a whole floor dedicated to its world famous marketing. Spanning back over 80 years, it displays a wonderful smorgasbord of print, digital and television campaigns. From AMV BBDO’s famous Surfer advert with brilliant white horses and a thumping soundtrack, to a clever little seal balancing a ball on its nose and let’s not forget, John Gilroy’s fabulously bright beaked toucan. Wondering around amongst Guinness marketing success both past a present, I found it both surprising and compelling that at the wee age of 24, I recognised around 80% of the material. And then I thought…why?
Why? When I’ve only actually tasted Guinness twice in the spring of my life, why am I so familiar with the quirky straplines and peculiar characters? And right then, I had the upmost admiration for marketing. The kind of warm fuzzy admiration you get after 3 pints. But not just any marketing. Memorable marketing.
So, what exactly makes memorable marketing? You know, the kind that lingers around for years:
Well let’s start with the basics. Make your message, loud, clear and most of all, unique. Your brand is YOU and the only thing worse than a dull concept is one that’s been done time and time again.
Connect to your audience, because without them you’ll get nowhere. Tailor your messaging, speak and engage rather than churn out nonsense. Tell your audience why they should invest their time or money into you or your products by discussing the product benefits, as Guinness did with the iconic Toucan; a campaign that took aim at focusing on the strengths and health benefits of Guinness.
Take the time to build a persona. Characters are so appealing within marketing and if you stop to take the time to look, almost all memorable advertising involves a character. This doesn’t have to just be a physical manifestation either. A persona can be build using humour or quirkiness alone. There’s not always the need for dancing men in hot pants and heels.
You can bust your metaphorical balls creating a campaign but at the end of the day, successful marketing often comes down to how much you can recall. Be loud, don’t be afraid to explore outside the box. I’m talking sassy straplines, finger clicking jingles, music, imagery and everything in between. Channel annoying. Yeah I said it. Those irritating Just Eat ads which turn classic hits into awful take away parodies? They earned Just Eat over 40% up rise in orders.
So think big, think creative, think weird. Your brand depends on it.