I Just Want Chocolate
Marketing Campaigns are like Ice Cream Flavors.
At Fruchtman, we’re in the midst of testing out the capabilities our project management software offers. We decided one of the tests should be fun, because who really looks forward to testing out software capabilities, right? Someone on our team threw out the idea of a query on your favorite ice cream flavor. I couldn’t help but ask, “Have you been down the ice cream aisle lately?” I mean, it’s no easy feat to get out of there unscathed. First, there are the brands alone. Should you deviate from your favorite Ben & Jerry’s or try something new? Once you get past that hurdle, then you have to pick a flavor. Should it be banana peanut butter chip? Bourbon praline pecan? Almond chocolate coconut? Ricotta toast with red berry geranium jam? Or, (horrors) green tea? And then, do you want lower sugar, sugar-free, light? You’ve now spent twenty minutes opening and closing the freezer doors in aisle 11 and you haven’t even put anything in your cart. It’s enough to give a person an ice cream headache without even taking a single bite.
I’m all for gourmet flavors and am up to try anything new, but sometimes you just want to keep it simple and go for the straight-up chocolate, you know what I mean? And it can be a struggle to find the simple sometimes.
Right about now you’re probably thinking this article isn’t really about ice cream, and you would be right. It was just nice to rant a little about it. And if I made you want some, then I’m sorry (maybe). What I do want you to think about, though, are your marketing campaigns. You can come up with something trendy that’s of the moment. But that moment will come and go. You can over-complicate it until it’s just a sloppy mess. (This would be a dirt sundae) Or you can focus on the beauty of simplicity.
The best marketing campaigns that stand the test of time are just that. You can’t really beat Nike’s Just Do It campaign that seamlessly ties in their athletic apparel brand and the notion that you can hurdle your physical athletic obstacles, whether you’re a professional or just getting started with a sport. It’s motivating and said so simply and positively in just three little words. In the jewelry industry, the De Beers A Diamond is Forever campaign is brilliantly perfect, just like the rarest of diamonds.
These campaigns don’t come easily. And in these two specific cases, they don’t come cheaply, either. However, it’s not an impossible task to come up with a simple and wonderfully effective campaign if you’re willing to spend the time to brainstorm anything and everything your brand stands for, and how you want people to feel when they buy from you or when they think of your brand. You still need to conjure up emotion. Write it all down and keep stripping away the layers. Resist the urge to add on more. Take away more instead. Try to find the essence of what you want to say. Be willing to step away from this arduous task when you get tired instead of powering through it like it’s a simple assignment. Give it the time and focus it needs. And remember, simple is good. Simple is memorable and timeless, like Just Do It and A Diamond is Forever. And, like straight up chocolate ice cream.