Monday, March 26, 2012

The power of crisis

A few years ago I wrote a post about how times of crisis make innovation possible. Apparently the same is true for marketing.

Take a couple of minutes to watch this video about a campaign produced by Leo Burnett/Detroit (the first agency smart enough to hire me, back when it was known as Darcy, McManus & Masius).

If the library weren't facing extinction they would never have developed such a risky campaign. They would have developed some motivational messages about the importance of books. Maybe quoted Jefferson or shown how the library is also important to underserved populations in the community. All important messages, none however would have been motivating.

By being willing to risk enraging huge swaths of the population they got people to notice.

The best part about this campaign is that it wasn't just a "hey look how clever we are" effort. It was built from the product out. It used the conventions of the category in an unexpected way. And, it did so without massive budgets and carpet-bombing the media airwaves.

Every advertiser, whether their budget is $1,000 or $1,000,000,000, can learn from this effort.

Well done.

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