I learned a neat lesson while working at FCB Advertising, which I’ve shared a number of times, worth repeating. It’s a tool to see how “tight” your ad campaign is. But it has legs for other content as well.
Take all your ads from a given campaign and tack them up on a wall. The exercise works best for print ads. Then review them together in real time. See if, combined, they tell a story. Or do there appear to be outliers to the story. To the main idea. Outliers water down the story mission.
I once did this for JPMorgan Chase and its corporate website. I printed out 50 pieces of content and randomly placed them on a wall. Content JPMorgan Chase felt worthy of its corporate story. The exercise was to have JPM marketing people re-pin the content pieces into clusters — areas of similar intent and customer value. Quite telling.
Today as a brand planner I use the same tool to see how tight or loose a company or product message is. In fact, I’ve developed a tool I call Brand Strategy Tarot Cards — a shortcut exercise to identify problems. (Google Brand Strategy Tarot Cards for a primer.) Or write me, Steve@WhatsTheIdea.com.
A randomized story is the bane of all brand planners.