Like most of us in the advertising and branding world, we’d like to think of ourselves as somewhat a troupe of artists – creating works of art that drip with hidden meanings and raw emotion, allowing the selected audience that we’ve handpicked ourselves to decipher our Salvador Dalí-like masterpieces.
Okay, I admit, that statement is quite an exaggeration. But if so, then why do most messages get lost in this transaction of information? Are we just not getting it?
Let’s take a step back and figure out what IS a message. When you think about it, a message really means whatever the receiver thinks it means. And what most messages mean today is actually quite clear.
We don’t have to squint and look that deeply to realise that ads are designed to sell their stuff, boost their name and advance their brand.
Don’t get me wrong, communication is key and we’re nailing it on that front, but these tactics aren’t being applied full force within the ads when the outcome doesn’t manage to influence people’s beliefs and/or behaviours.
This is because we now exist in an amazingly sophisticated marketplace that is teaming with life – where we’re nothing short of great content. We are now masters of stunning delivery, beautifully crafted words and imagery that would put James Cameron’s Avatar to shame. Slick and technical communication has become standard convention, but they do not win hearts.
Intention does. And that should be clear and upfront in your message.
Adverts, sales pitches, blogs, tweets, press releases, speeches and even board presentations all require this one valuable element.
A perfect example of good, clear intention would be the Thankyou movement. Starting with just bottled water and a great idea, they’ve moved onto much bigger plans that have all received a lot of support and positivity, as they explain and lay out their aims and objectives upfront knowing that this was their biggest and most powerful selling point.
Great design and perfect grammar will all be for nothing if the intent of creating cannot be seen, heard or felt. The sense of sincerity, a demonstration of compassion or just that you care, must be present.
Then only your message will be heard with open arms and the willingness to listen.
Is your brand speaking from the heart?