Cannes Chasers vs. Brand Builders

Just read this from the newspaper .This article provides interesting facts on basic knowledge about how advertising agency work. This may become my future source of livelihood.

There are two schools of thought in the creative
departments of ad agencies today: The Cannes chasers and the brand builders.

Cannes is the genre of out-of the box creatives,
whose adherents, mostly the new young generation of ad writers, whose big
ambition is to win awards in the most famous hall of them all, the Cannes
Festival, the Oscar of advertising.

Brand builders are more traditional. They are
driven by sales and market performance, at least 30 years of experience in
advertising doing brand building. They work in partnership with companies
applying the multidisciplinary requirements of marketing and communications
strategy. Winning awards is immaterial to them. Awareness of brand message and
market gains are.

Both schools worship the goddess of creativity.
But their attitudes and outlook differ in creating advertising.

Cannes wannabes are licentious and rule breakers,
obsessed with execution. They presume that the advertising will manage to
deliver a brand message regardless of whether the creative execution is
irrelevant or relevant, strategic or general. The selling job will be done by
the distinctiveness of the advertising rather than the distinctiveness of the
brand benefit.

Think –out-of-the-box. Intrusive, Interruptive.
These buzzwords are the big criteria in creating ads intended for Cannes.

Brand builders think more rationally in creating
campaigns. They try to secure the efficiency and effectively of their ads with
consumer tests on both the product / service and its communication execution
before launching the campaign. The marketing department and ad agency have a
historical knowledge of the brand’s progress to help them adopt the best
practices and avoid mistakes of the past.

Brand builders are long-term planners not
peripatetic job hoppers or bounty hunters. They acquire tenure and create a
body of work necessary for brand building. They attach great value on brand
equity as a long – term positioning but constantly enhancing competitiveness
through product & service improvement and the spinning off of variants to
generate trial and new usages.

Cannes fans have few actual demo cases. Most
Cannes creations are either local or regional award winners but rarely
represent mainstream products and services in the huge Philippine mass market.
They are usually done for small or medium advertisers with no real equity or
size to consider. Still others are tactical ads whose messages are short – term
flashes in the pan and are not part of grand design of a product’s and services
long – term image. Although they claim high attention, their results in the
market are fleeting and short-lived. As soon as the ad is withdrawn consumer
demand is also withdrawn, demonstrating the quick wear out and easy surfeit of
interruptive ad executions.

When creative writers of the Cannes species hit
the jackpot in the market place, they are called geniuses. If they bomb out,
it’s plain stupidity. Several market dynamics are challenging the new
generation of creatives to pursue the Cannes route. Among them are the thick
advertiser clutter, the evolving sophistication in consumer aesthetics and
visual literacy, the fickleness of consumers due to the quick birth and death
of a myriad new products and services.

The age of discontinuity predicted by Peter
Drucker in the early sixties is here. So is the age of short attention span.

While Cannes chasers take the big leap of faith
(you can’t pretest rule-breaking ideas) brand builders enjoy the best of both
worlds. Cannes chasers have the upper hand in the intrusive aspect of
advertising. They are users of various figures of speech; hyperbole, wit,
fantasy, parody, lampoon, irony and double speak. In print they are minimalist,
shunning verbals, relying on visuals, an art director’s medium to convey
symbolic messages.

Both Cannes chasers and brand builders recognize
that one of the most powerful vessels of brand image and message is people’s
culture. Culture content is an excellent element to affirm brand’s affinitive
connectivity with the sociology of its consumers. It also reflects the
corporate personality and philosophy of the advertiser.

Marketing today is constantly facing the
challenges of relentless changes in technology, globalized economy, lifestyles
and the homogenization of wants and needs.

Today “ proprietary” properties are available to
any businessmen, information technology empowers consumers, retail chains wield
more power from path to purchase to point of purchase, pricing is the biggest
determinant in consumer purchase.

The question that advertising people nervously ask
is, “ will the brand be still important in the years to come?” what new role
will the manufacturer of goods take? After the unbundlings, will the ad
agencies be extinct?

Only one thing seems certain. The altar of
creativity will always be lighted, and the creators of sales messages will
always be around spouting new buzzwords.

Can Cannes chasers be brand builders? Yes, of
course. They know the rules. But clients must legislate. Can brand builders be
Cannes chasers? Difficult. It’s not their cup of tea, and they are not


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