I'm trying to stay stupid…

In my efforts to synthesize thinking from a variety of disciplines – here’s a little tidbit from a book I’m reading on advertising: Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising by Luke Sullivan.

Reading the book is a bit of overflow from recently finishing a business-related degree – but at the same time I get a kick out of reading books on advertising and marketing as these are folks that have to be really creative and innovative. Of course there’s no shortage of industry examples where this is not the case…

My hope would be that government and government agencies anywhere are reading books, briefs, blogs and whatever else on advertising and marketing. For example, the folks with the tough job of ‘selling’ the Wild Salmon Policy; or the Prime Minister’s attempted sell job on his most recent decision to prorogue parliament….

Sullivan suggests an advertiser/marketer should do their background work prior to putting pen to paper.

Simple=Good. Brand=Adjective.

By adjective, Sullivan suggests “make your brand stand for one thing”:

Everything you do with regard to advertising and design – whether it’s creating the product or designing the web site – adheres to absolutely draconian standards of simplicity…

Good advice, now check some salmon-related sites out there and tell me how that simplicity thing is going… Before putting pen to paper examine current positioning of the product:

What position do the competitors occupy? What niches are undefended? Do they have an adjective? What’s your adjective?

Continuing on, Sullivan suggests: get to know your client’s business as well as you can.

Do the factory tour… Ask a million questions. How is the product made? Read every brochure. Read every memo you can get your hands on… Learn their business.

Sullivan then suggests: On the other hand, there’s value in staying stupid

‘Don’t give into the temptation to take the factory tour. Resist. It makes you think like the client. You’ll start to come up with the same answers the client does…. keep your ‘tabula’ extremely ‘rasa’ making your thinking fresher…

Yes, everyone loves to adopt lingo. Lingo-adopters can then leave a lot of people behind. For example, pick up a teenagers cell phone and see if you can decipher the new language (lol, bff, OMG, etc.). Fine if your purpose is to communicate with a small group of other lingo-adoptees… not so great when trying to communicate with hundreds of thousands if not millions of average folks concerned about wild salmon throughout their historical range.

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