Winning the War: The Importance of the Advertising Long Game

At MACLYN, we believe advertising is not about the product: it’s about the consumer’s relationship with the brand. About what it allows them to do. About how it makes them feel. How it helps them live a better life. We believe ads should earnestly engage the viewer, or entertain them, and believe the best work does both.

Sound like waxing poetic poppycock? Well, let’s spit some mad truth:

In this day and age, it’s simply not enough to have a good product.

The customer has to have a sentimental bond with the brand.

Luckily, if you do that work, the war will win itself.

We’ll let you in on a little secret: people like being appreciated. (SHHH DON’T TELL ANYONE)

They want to feel cared about. That their problems are being heard fixed by a company who endeavors to provide those solutions. They want something to believe in. They need a connection to your company – otherwise, they’re not going to return again and again and again and again.

So to create that connection, you need an Idea.

The Idea.

It’s the golden gem hiding within every advertising opportunity, just waiting to be discovered. It’s the “why” upon which we build holistic brands. The rocket fuel for your intergalactic spacecraft, upon which your advertising astronauts ascend.

The Idea is what fosters that human connection. And of course it’s the secret weapon that wins the long game. It’s a message that will ring true a year from now, 10 years from now, or in an eon, when mole people archaeologists find it etched into the stone of a fossilized superhighway.

Perhaps that’s positioning yourself as a champion for a cause – for instance, Toms shoes exist solely (pun intended) because of their appeal to people’s consciences.

Maybe it’s associating with nostalgia and becoming a household staple.

Or maybe it’s a brand so “holy-smokes-what-are-they-on-I-want-some-too” wacky, that your business becomes the brand of fun you just can’t see enough of.

Whatever you do, no matter how clever or fun, it needs to be authentic.

Because brand = belief. (write that down, it’ll be on the quiz)

Leaders don’t rely on gimmicks. They don’t rely on self-aggrandizement. A leader isn’t barking orders. A leader is in the trenches, bayonet at the ready. Because a leader trusts his followers. And a leader’s followers trust the brand (but more on that next time).

When you create a beautiful brand, and endeavor to put it in the right place for the right person, the long game is yours to win. When customers witness your brand, they won’t file it away as another ad. They’ll consider it a revelation. An omen of good fortune, screaming with reassurance that they’ve just found what they’ve been looking for all this time.

And they’ll come back again, and again, and again, and again.