In this business, creativity is the name of the game. We live in a world where the more creative awards you hang in the reception area, the better you are…we all brag about how creative we are, but seldom is our creativity measured by what it really should be: how we manage a brand and add value to it through the way we communicate and reach our customers, not the judges.
And I’m not talking about the kind of creativity that takes your TV spot, or display, or ad to the pages of the many industry publications. I am not talking about the genius that makes people talk after the 30-second Super Bowl commercial. I am not talking about how brilliant your idea was to get over a million hits in YouTube in 24 hours. I am talking about the creativity that old school Unilever, PG and other brand emporiums use to make their brands relevant to millions of consumers who are faithful to their shampoo or their ketchup. Remember, not every product out there can be as fun as a Mini or as sexy as an IPod. As most buyers are plain John & Jane Doe, most products out there need the most outstanding creativity to entice those consumers.
All this mumbojumbo takes me to feature a case that deserves full kudos: Hyundai.
Hyundai marketers and advertising agency won’t make it to Cannes but certainly deserve to be there, at least in my book. They used behavioral segmentation to develop a smart and incredibly creative strategy
When nobody was buying cars because there was a ‘job loss’ syndrome in the mind of the consumer, they were the first to sell the idea that a car manufacturer would stand by you for 3 months if you lost your job (or take the car back if you couldn’t get back on your feet after that).
When the rest of the brands, and a zillion dealers, followed suit promising the same thing and producing outrageously expensive spots, Hyundai used creativity again by saying what the consumer wanted to hear: if you buy our car and drive it, you deserve to be paid, because advertising has a price. So, buy a Hyundai and, instead of you paying us, we will pay you for promoting our brand in 6-month installments.
And last, but not least, they launched a third round of one of the most creative professional campaigns I’ve ever seen: Buy a Hyundai and you’ll get gas at a fixed rate per gallon for a year. WOW!
Basically, what Hyundai did was to dress up a common practice in the industry. They creatively disguised the manufacturer’s discount to make it relevant to the buyer. They said exactly what the consumer wanted to hear, like no brand I’ve witnessed did better. By doing so, not only did they sell cars (and I am sure they did) but they also built a bond with the consumer, whether it was a Hyundai customer or not. To me, and to many others in our industry that is the kind of creativity we are supposed to get paid for.
The Hyundai brand managers have proved there still is amazing creativity in this industry. The proof: in very little time, and against all odds, they have conquered the most competitive market of all.
Too bad I am not one of the judges, because if I were I would certainly give you the awards…. All of them!
And by the way…I am not alone
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