Brands need to be relevant these days, though theres never been a time when communications succeeded any other way.
But, like ideas about authenticity and engagement, it has many marketers running around as if theyve discovered some magic elixir that requires the invention of new ideas, platforms, and measurement.
Merriam-Webster defines relevance (noun) as a relation to the matter at hand, and something that is practical and especially socially applicable.
Thats a pretty straightforward meaning, as far as definitions go, dont you think?
Yet Im amazed by how many companies fail to accomplish it with their communications. So here are 3 Things You Should Know About Relevance for you to consider before you script your next CEO talking points, or ante up for an expensively beautiful ad campaign:
First, it needs to be reasonable. Remember when Chrysler ran a few minutes worth of Clint Eastwood waxing poetic about America during the Super Bowl a few years ago? Of course, the state of the country was relevant to just about everyone watching the spot, but in we all breathe oxygen sort of way.
Why was it reasonable for Chrysler to opine on it? Because its ad agency probably made the case that it was intertwined with the brands DNA, or whatever. No matter that Levis, Coke, or pretty much any other client could have sponsored the same thing, since it didnt have anything to do with selling.
Advertising that doesnt sell now there’s a truly novel invention.
Cadillac will do the exact same thing this weekend, when it debuts a spot on the Oscars that addresses Americas political divide (the first iteration of its Dare Greatly campaign featured a poet blathering about life, as a Caddy appeared lost driving through Manhattan).
You cant deny this. At the same time, you hear this, and you stop immediately. It gets your attention, the companys CMO explained in the New York Times.
The concept isnt relevant; rather, it substitutes blunt, agnostic response for making a reasonable connection to Cadillacs business. If relevance meant only getting peoples attention, holding a gun to a puppys head would be far more compelling…
You can read the entire essay at Linkedin