The argument for planning, and planning across platforms

I’ve discussed this case with a few people now. I really like the Ban Boredom site created for the Mini, but wasn’t very impressed with the first TV ad I saw a few weeks ago:

The reason is that while the site is simple and a good exercise in literally banning boredom, this TV ad just made me go ‘?’. In my mind, it completely diluted the ‘ban boredom’ message that the brand was trying to convey. Maybe it was just the way it was shot, but a group of pirates descending on a beach wasn’t the most creative use of the phrase ‘ban boredom’ to me.

Then yesterday, I saw a different TV ad for the Mini with the same tagline:

And this made so much more sense, was creative and arresting to boot. The problem with the first ad is that while the message was supposed to be the same as the digital one, the communication got distorted along the way because of the ad’s execution, resulting in it looking rather confused. The second one was clearly better planned, and for me, delivered better results. The first ad is an example of an ad’s execution potentially harming the product, in this case the Mini, because an ad which conveys a message in a confused way represents a confused brand, and I wouldn’t want to be associated with a confused brand (though I admit I love the Mini as a car).

I think about this a lot: how important is it for a brand’s campaign to be wholly integrated across all platforms – digital, TV, print, OOH etc.? Many intelligent people I’ve been speaking to about this in the field say that requiring a campaign to be integrated across all platforms sometimes means an agency has to play within a defined box, which could harm the creative process. I agree, but to an extent. If there are absolutely no common links between a campaign’s various communication platforms, the brand could be harmed – exactly what happened with the Mini’s first ad. Digital worked fine without the ad, but when the TV ad tried to use the digital message in its execution, it got all messed up.

To me, what Orange Pay As You Go is doing with Playballoonacy.com and this ad below is much more successful because it allows different verticals to use their creative process independently but still has a common thread linking it (the orange animal shapes).

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