Thousands of women across the globe joined together for equality this past weekend. Most of the press surrounding the marches focused on a common sighting: signs. The signs at these marches: impactful, raw, moving and often hilarious, helped the marchers make their point and achieved something that brands are often looking for, a way to break through the noise to engender solidarity with their audience. Using our Brain-Friendly Principles, we have sought to identify what brands can learn from the women’s signs at these marches, and how they can adopt some of the foundations behind them.
For creative to be recognised, brands need to use key brand assets- – logo, icons, colours & existing frames of reference. By using assets intelligently, consumers are automatically making mental shortcuts about the brand featured. Repurposing common symbols, as many women did at the marches, can help brands to immediately attract consumers and dictate the frame of reference they view advertising through. Just as a uterus giving the finger helps to promote female strength, the same could be said of a Heinz ketchup bottle being made of real tomatoes – both seek to align brand properties to a positive attribute to say something about what the brand stands for.
For creative to be resonant, brands must promote greater memorability by using evocative language, multi-sensory marketing and/or emotional mirroring. Using language that links to physical movements awakens a sense of action in the viewer and increases the viewers’ attention in the subject. In order to motivate people to act and choose one brand over another, they need to feel compelled by its promise. Just as many signs acted as call to actions for the women at the march, an active tagline can encourage a desired behaviour (purchase, awareness, etc.) for a brand.
The final brain-friendly principle for brands to utilise is Relevance. Relevance is driven by understanding the people you are targeting and their behaviours so you can create salience with them by tailoring work to people and the platforms they use. Placement is key for relevant advertising and works well when the creative is tailored to the specific environment it is in. Whether the key insight is social sharing or establishing alliances at marches, brands will do well to remember that their advertising doesn’t exist in vacuums, but is interwoven into the lives and spaces that people exist in. Ensuring relevance does more than generate sales, it helps brands to develop a sense of unification with their consumers and their specific actions.
Any and all forms of communication are powerful tools that can impact behaviour. Using the principles outlined above helps brands make good creative that stands out and speaks to audiences directly.