What sets you apart? or in simple terms what makes you special?
Simple question, right? And in my opinion one of the most important questions that should be present in a creative brief. Yet, as simple and obvious as that seems, I rarely have seen it in a brief. I know sometimes its impossible (yes, there are those products that probably can’t claim one) but the question at least prompts the agency and client to look for something that may set them apart. Another result of such exercise is narrowing down your message. When you cram 5, 6, or 9 benefits into one piece of communication you are not being efficient, on the contrary you are being sloppy, insecure and if you ask me just plain stupid. Consumer are bombarded with thousands of messages, images, claims, promises a day, so by adding to the clutter you are not separating yourself but actually becoming part of the white noise that most advertising becomes.
An old boss once told me a very interesting experiment. It consisted of simply making 7 balls of crumpled paper. He proceeded to tell me that he was going to throw them all at me at the same time and that I was supposed to catch them all, or as many as I could. Well what happened next is not what I expected I only caught 2. He continued by saying that advertising is the same. If you bombard your consumer with various messages he is bound to only catch 2 or 3 if you are lucky. So instead of trying to cram everything into 30 secs. only select 1 or 2 things that you can make them really remember.
The latest campaign done by Dutch LA for VW is a perfect example of this. They have crafted an amazingly cool campaign that focuses on 1 benefit / characteristic that VW feels they should highlight. What goes beyond this smart strategic move is also that they have focused on things that set them apart that being better gas mileage which is not unique to them to some very unique ones like the Fender Sound system on the new Passat.
So kudos to Deutsch on a bold strategic approach and exceptional executions of it. They get my highest complement, a “ I wish I did them”.
PS: # Deutsch, if you guys ever look for some help or collaborations PLEASE let me know.