Picture 2-2

This thought stemmed from Ross Dougall’s post on Single Minded Propositions… hence the image from his blog, which you should check out if you have a moment or two…

Anyway, I like the thought he had – which was, for me: Single Ideas are still the mainstay of briefs, but it feels like there’s less relevance when you’re looking a major site and you can spend more time with people.

I think there are two things that are interesting in this…

1. Not single – you only have to read Russell’s genius APG paper on Honda (download it at wklondon.com) to see this spelt out fully, but the belief that every brand needs to find a single thing is becoming less unassailable. Like personalities, brands shouldn’t be one-dimensional – although we should try to make one compelling point or have one over-riding emotion that we’re delivering in communication, that’s mainly dictated by the brevity of ads… bringing me to the next thought…

2. Time Spent – 30“ with an ad (when you’re half-watching) is a world of difference from 5/10/30 minutes on a website. Which you chose to do in the first place.

So, when you’re briefing for websites, surely you do need to find an idea – a core thought – that can be the glue for everything. Then you need to find layers of communication to interest and engage people over time – not just one proposition, hammered mercilessly into your head! Maybe, similar to some briefs, you could use the idea of a ”Core Thought“ then build up messages that hit different points you want to make…?

Anyway, that’s the blather I wrote in comments to him at the time, but as I think about it more, I think the time thing is more interesting – particularly as we start developing content for brands – can’t we actually do such much more once the restriction of 30” is removed? And, likewise, can web comms step beyond this?

I have, for a while now, had the feeling that we can have more impact by telling more – rather than banging the same point. But, you have to entertain in more ways, so it’s more difficult. It’s not an excuse to be dull or to cram everything in to one ad. It’s the opposite – take your time with people – give them information in digestible chunks, and make each chunk worth consuming. Then build up a more complex set of messages over time.

I’m sure someone’s written something far more detailed and well thought through on this already, but I wanted to get it down while it was fresh and buzzing in my head! I’ll check for other thoughts one day… when I’m not trying to pack.