Branding v Advertising: The New Roles

Full disclosure, I’m a bit of a snob (or what I like to say, “Brand Passionate”) when it comes to certain products in my life… computing devices, cars, beer, and whiskey. Without mentioning names, one of my favorite whiskey’s, where I’m on an “order-by-name-in-mixed-drinks-on-the-rocks-or-neat” type of basis, started a huge advertising push with a new campaign (TV, Digital, Social, etc.).  At face value, it’s not the most terrible campaign, but it’s not the best either. It seems to be performing and doing its job in driving awareness and pushing the campaign message. But for me, a “Brand Passionate” it’s shit. It’s completely having an adverse effect. Each time I see it (and being in their target audience, I see it often) the brand itself becomes more and more tarnished and drives me towards looking for a new brand in the category.

Providing a platform or ecosystem of products, messages and emotions that create these aspirations and passion within my daily life.

Now the reason I like this brand is the way that it makes me feel; the rustic vibe gives me the feeling and aspiration of sipping on a nice glass with a fine cigar in some room full of oak barrels, while telling stories of grandeur and excitement.  The brand assets have become somewhat of an insignia for my “whiskey-life” and I can spot it out and order it across a crowded bar or in some mahogany lined lounge. This brand has become a definition, somewhat, of who I am as a person something that gives me the aspirations and emotions necessary to become the best person I can be. And to me, that’s the true meaning of branding. Providing a platform or ecosystem of products, messages and emotions that create these aspirations and passion within my daily life (or at least on my whiskey drinking occasions).  Don’t’ get me wrong, the historic brand assets are a large part of the new ad campaign, but instead of sitting in an oak barreled lined room sitting in a swirl of cigar smoke I feel as though I might be a teenage girl drawing a cartoon with a bedazzler… Not the brand experience that I would like to have.

instead of sitting in an oak barreled lined room sitting in a swirl of cigar smoke I feel as though I might be a teenage girl drawing a cartoon with a bedazzler…

Advertising is something that is a necessity for any brand to grow. I understand that in order to continue expanding the company, structured growth periods are necessary. And in order to do that, there needs to be some type of mass communications to draw in unawares and drive considerations towards a purchase in hopes to capture them as regular consumers. However, this messaging needs to stay in line within the brand values, ideals, culture, and most of all my lifestyle (as a brand passionate).

Solution – The Role of Advertising in Branding

In the past the role of advertising is to distribute messages to drive awareness or sell a product. In the new world of branding, the role of advertising is to communicate (en masse) the values, ideals, and culture of the brand in order to integrate into the lifestyle of the consumer so they purchase, advocate, and believe in what the brand stands for.  Strategically produced, developed, and placed advertising campaigns, within marketing and loyalty programs will further integrate the brand into the loyalists and passionates lives, but also expand awareness, consideration and purchase to the core audience on a mass and intimate level.

When launching a new ad campaign think of this story and the idea of Brand Passion in regards to lifetime value. If there are others out there like me (which I’m sure there are) this brand is doing a disservice to their passionate consumer through a creative execution of their strong brand pillars.

Have you ever witnessed a brand experience like this?


Photo courtesy of Flickr – martisak


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