Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A bigger idea than advertising

The other day I was asked the difference between branding and advertising. It’s a good question. At Saatchi & Saatchi we believe advertising is just one of the many ways that brands come alive to consumers. Successful brands draw on experiences in-store, great service, events, and conversations online and off-line. But over the last five or so years we have seen a major power shift - it’s not about what brands can use to reach consumers, it’s about what consumers are prepared to engage with. They have taken control of brands and the advertising industry is starting to get the picture.

Slowly. People are no longer interested in being preached to about functional benefits and features. In their lives they are looking for connections and that’s what they expect from brands they care about. We call those brands Lovemarks. We are heading from the Attention Economy to the Attraction Economy where Lovemarks thrive. In the Attraction Economy, advertising agencies have to step up and out, or be buried. We changed Saatchi & Saatchi from an advertising agency to an Ideas Company many years ago so our focus is on compelling, exciting ideas to attract consumers. They don’t spend any time considering the differences between brands and advertising, so we don’t either.