A friend of mine told me once that the problem with advertising folks is that they transfer demographic thinking to their clients. He said something along the lines of:
â€œAdvertising has always been putting the general public in buckets. Women 25-34 this and men 35-55 that. Advertisers put us in buckets, too. They do some quick demographic research on my target consumer and think they know my business. They throw out some slick, fancy artwork with clever words on it and think Iâ€™m impressed.â€
His chief complaint was the agencies heâ€™d dealt with failed to accomplish what smart agencies consider perhaps the most important step: getting to know the client.
Last week I accompanied several members of Doe Andersonâ€™s creative team and client services staff on an outing designed to get to know one of our clients. Weâ€™ve had the pleasure of working with Knob Creek, one of the Beam Global brands of spirits, for several years now. A new creative project is coming up and was ready for kicking off. Perry Baldwin, our Sr. VP and strategic planning guru, decided the project was the perfect opportunity to haul everyone down to the distillery for a reminder (and for a couple new creatives, a primer) of exactly who weâ€™re representing.
So, instead of sitting in a conference room going over a creative brief with the Knob Creek brand manager piped in over the phone, we all took a little field trip, the lovely Paige Guzman (Knob Creek brand manager) included, toured the distillery and met in the Knob Creek House, a guest house/meeting facility on the Beam property.
During our lunch break, I asked Perry and Ray Radford, our resident expert on just about anything having to do with marketing, whiskey or both, about the importance of such a visit.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHbDK7vgCxE[/youtube]
You can also check out some pictures we took below or on Flickr.
The end result of the day wonâ€™t come to fruition for a while, but weâ€™re more apt to get it right the first time if we capture the soul of the brand at the onset.
As for my friendâ€™s notion, I only told him one of the first things Ray Radford ever told me about advertising. â€œYouâ€™re a lot smarter if you start out with the belief there does not exist a 25-34-year-old anything.â€