News: Smith Wins IPR Ketchum Award

23 10 2007

It’s good to see hard work pay off.

http://www.comm.umd.edu/news3.html

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Does Creative = Good Branding?

22 10 2007

You know, I understand the point of the new set of Careerbuilder ads. It can be hard enough just to survive the current job you’re in, so why not use career builder to find a better one. Sure, it’s witty and creative, and it makes sense.  But for some reason, I just can’t get past the weird images.

I don’t know about you, but watching a bunch of people go through weird and excrutiating ordeals doesn’t exactly give me a good feeling about Careerbuilder. Maybe you like the ads, as I’m sure many people would defend the commercials in the comment section (that is, if more than my old college roommate read this blog), but somehow, the images just turn me off. They remind me of the old Carl’s Jr. “Don’t bother me, I’m eating” ads.

Sure, they showed some salivating images of burgers and fries, but who wants to watch some guy or girl make a mess all over themselves eating it…much less, who wants to hear every last morsel be chewed and swallowed in state of the art sound?

Now, it’s no new phenomenon that image is everything in advertising…brand image, that is. Companies who do branding right scrutinize every last customer touch-point, all the way down to the post-it notes in the office, to ensure that the company brand is conveyed properly and gives off the right impression. Branding guru Kevin Keller says the process goes from simple recognition of a brand, then to judgment, feelings and beliefs,  and finally all the way to building a relationship with the brand.

With that in mind, I wonder how often the creativity clashes with brand intentions. Take these ads for example. Sure, they communicate the right brand messages and they’re nothing if they’re not creative. But if “feeling” and “impression” are such important in parts of branding, then Careerbuilder and Carl’s Jr. have gone beyond the mark. Their ads just leave a bad taste in my mouth, which reflects bad on their endurable brand image.  

Sometimes I wonder how often companies try so hard to be creative and funny in their ads, that they just turn their audience off? Let me know if you can think of any.