Big ideas are the fuel for successful PR and marketing campaigns. But as the third show in the PR Vision series examines, a formula for generating great creative ideas remains elusive.
However, Innocent head of creative Dan Germain, French Connection global PR and marketing director Will Woodhams and Macmillan Cancer Support deputy head of comms Hannah Shannon do have plenty of pointers and advice for others.
Germain thinks it is important not to ignore the product when you are looking to do something different. But do not forget your gut instinct.
For the launch of Innocent's Orange Juice, he jokes that it launched a 'really stupid' online game about oranges - where users attempted to catch oranges falling off a tree, while avoiding other objects like squirrels and alarm clocks.
'How is this going to sell orange juice ultimately?' is the rhetorical question. But Germain thinks that too much analysis can cause paralysis: 'Gone are the days where you should plan something for six months, and have a big idea, then launch it and hope it works. Ultimately, you don't know until you test and the only way to test digital is to put it out there and see if people like it.'
Woodhams, from French Connection, stresses the need to be product-focused in everything you do. As a brand, it has found social media particularly helpful when doing something different: 'Social media are a great feedback resource and a great way of communicating what we are doing and delivering value.'
It is harder to guarantee viral marketing success. 'The only thing that can guarantee success is putting a small animal in it or having really good music,' he quips.
The balance of being creative, demonstrating humour and dealing with important and sensitive real-life concerns is something Macmillan Cancer Support's Shannon works hard to achieve.
To get this right, you must concentrate on the audience, she advises.
Macmillan is celebrating being 100 years old this year. Shannon says: 'We did start thinking about it a year in advance. We were excited that we were 100, but what difference did that really mean?'
In this case, volunteers were as excited as the charity's staff but if you are a cancer patient, the priority is to get information about your situation and treatment. Shannon stresses: 'It was really important to get the right messages to the right people at the right time.'
To hear about this, visit prvision.tv, and you will also get the chance to see the three comms experts answer a mystery creative challenge, hear about the importance of 'fun' and, surprisingly, how knitting has been a comms tool for both Innocent and Macmillan Cancer Support.
- Alex Whitson, Head of content, PRVision.tv
- Hannah Shannon, Deputy head of comms, Macmillan Cancer Support
- Dan Germain, Head of creative, Innocent
- Will Woodhams, Global PR and marketing director, French Connection
TOP CREATIVE AND IDEA-GENERATING TIPS
1. Measure what you do but don't take the fun out of it
2. Get the right message to the right people at the right time
3. Go back to the product
4. Don't bank on one good idea working - try lots of things
5. Engagement happens when you produce something both interesting and useful
Watch prvision.tv to see the show and sign up for updates on the rest of the topics in the PR Vision series.