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Here are some notes I took from Brad Jakeman’s session which described the current lack of focus on getting the brand promise or big idea right.

Complicated communication channels as media became more fragmented and diverse.

  • – There’ve never been more communication channels available and yet we are
  • – So obsessed with the channel (the how)
  • – And have lost focus on the Content (the what)

“The step that precedes action is Engagement”

 US Stats – in 3 years time

  • US$6.9 billion will be spend on marketing and social Networking site.
  • US$2.9 billion mobile marketing
  • US$7.1 billion online video
  • Search will triple to $25 billion.

 Consumer Shift

Then Now
Passively Actively
Viewing Using
Listening Trialling
Reading Experience
Passing Playing
Absorbing Engaging


We’re not spending enough time developing interesting , attractive content.

  • 98% brand messages are not effective.
  • Brands now need to participate rather than enforcing themselves on it.
  • The average consumer is exposed to 2,904 messages each day.
  • Of those 2905, they pay attention 279
  • Of those 123 are from Read, Listen or Watch
  • 30 of those are disliked, and of the 83 that are left
  • Only 55 are liked and remembered. .which is a 98% attrition.

By not focusing enough on the what, we have allowed consumers to view what we do as pollution

I also liked this quote which suggested that ROI really stands for “Removal Of Imagination”

We still operate by pushing messages at our consumers rather than pulling them toward great ideas.

  • TV commercials lost to DVR zapping

The Big brand idea is greater than any cool ad and that idea should govern everything we do in all media channels.

He suggested that by 2010, 18% of ads would be screened out.

He then showed the this years Superbowl ads.

And commented that whilst these were great one-off ads, where’s the big brand idea?  At a cost of ~ $2.4 mm all they got was 60 seconds.

Big idea – an idea that’s big enough to drive a brand’s behaviour and language across all channels.

– I got the feeling he was talking about the Brand promise rather than an individual campaign idea.

  • It should be Media agnostic – can be executed across all consumer touch points.
  • Proprietary and unique – it is based on a truth about the business and its core customer.
  • It would sound disingenuous when another brand has said it before.

JETBLUE case study

  • The big idea “Bringing humanity back to travel”
  • Which drove out every function and experience that was delivered to their audience.
  • They used the “JetBlue” storyboard which was like a cockpit with webcams to record consumer stories
  • Airline horror stories is a very engaging topic that people like to talk about .. so this tapped into the positives and the consumers embraced it

5 lessons

  1. Shut up & listen – Start with the consumer. A big brand idea can’t be created in isolation of the consumer.
    85% jetblue consumers – will recommend jetblue a friend.
  2. It has to start at the top – The big brand idea has to be embraced by the CEO because it has to drive all facets of the business.
  3. Everyone in the company is a marketer – Everyone in the business has to be accountable for delivering the brand promise.
    (“invertise before advertise” which I thought was a great quote and refers to making sure your employees understand the big idea before the general public)
  4. Do as you say! Mass collaboration enabled through technology
  5. Insulates you from operations e.g. Feb 14, 2007 – Jetblue Disrupt most flights – 17,000 flights were cancelled.
    but despite this disaster consumers forgave JetBlue due to their loyal fan base, and the transparency with which they handled the crisis.


Media is becoming more complex but marketing is not – focus on some basic principles.

  • Start with finding the unique role your brand plays in your customer lives
  • New media is very important but don’t let it become the shiny object.
  • Be rigorous and relentless in driving the idea in every single thing you do.
  • Try zagging when everyone else is ziggling. – Know what your competitors are doing, but don’t be afraid to be different.  Create something that is unique. And make sure the content is superb.

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