Branding Down To The Consumer’s DNA

RicardoCrispoby Dave Zornow

riCardo Crespo says too many agencies jump right to the creative without doing the initial work required to flesh out their client’s brand. If agencies would take the time to walk the walk and understand it’s not about The Campaign but about finding innovative ways to continuously build a better relationship with the consumer, the process of making great, impactful creative would be easier.

Crespo, the Chief Creative Officer at TH13TEEN, gave the opening keynote presentation at the Media Insights and Engagement Conference in Miami on January 29. He says that the three pillars of marketing have action correlaries : branding (making a promise to the consumer), marketing (creating a strategy that delivers the brand message) and advertising (executing a campaign which implements the marketing strategy).

More rigor produces real insights, not just “thin-sights,” according to Crespo. He cites the slogan “milk does the body good” as an example of a thin sight. He compares that to the realization that some consumers wouldn’t consider having a meal without washing it down with a glass of milk. that Crespo says, is an insight: a compelling fact which can shape how a brand is defined.

In the multi-platform, mega choice world of today’s consumer, Crispo says that authenticity matters more than ever. “There are so many choices in front of me, which one should I care about?” says Crispo. According to the former Mattel executive, great user experience design can either burnish or bury the brand. “Sites like Expedia and Travelocity have a great UX design that puts what the consumer wants to see as the top choices on the page,” he says. “The consumer has a finite attention and good design needs to take this into consideration,” says Crispo.

Knowing the consumer’s “default DNA” helped Crispo create break through creative for Mattel’s Hot Wheels focused on the DNA of the target consumer and not on that of corporate management. The print Crispo produced showed a pair of woman’s pumps with the heels of each shoe facing separated by about two feet of space. Although most adults didn’t see the connection, the audience in Boy’s Life did, appealing to the tween boys who would see this positioning jump as a gap to be jumped by a Hot Wheel car. “It doesn’t matter if members of the board of directors didn’t get the creative. It’s good they don’t get it — the ad wasn’t for them,” he says.

According to Crispo, there are four stages in the process of engaging the consumer with a brand: observation, perception, consistency of interaction and default to their DNA. “This is the relationship. This is the ad campaign,” says Crispo, noting it’s similar to the progression from dating to marriage. “It’s about how your brand works and how you are project it,” he says.

Related in situ conference tweets

  • @brucebfriend Ricardo Crespo¬† “treat your audience with respect and deliver on your brand’s promise.”
  • @MinerCoStudio RIcardo Crespo on perception and reality: your brand should not be A brand, but THE brand


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