The amount of mileage I’m doing at the moment has been pretty high. I can’t complain, mileage means someone is wanting to see me about making them some radio commercials !
On my journeys, there’s one thing I have noticed: An apparent increase in the amount of delivery lorries with the name ‘Wilkinson’ written on them. In recent times, Wilkinson has been going through a significant rebranding process. Gone are the sharp italicised fonts and in are softer more curved ‘homely-shaped’ contemporary letters. The same goes with their lorries: Huge, fun and incredibly colourful photographs now adorn the vehicles.
So is it because there are more lorries on the road or is it because the rebrand has just drawn my attention to something that has always been there ? I have to assume the latter. To be honest, Wilkinsons has never been a favoured shopping destination for me, but the new look isn’t half helping to change my perception of the brand.
This new awareness of an existing brand has co-incidentally occurred at the same time when two rebrand briefs landed on my desk. In both cases, both the clients involved are simply getting bored with their on-air image.
“We’re like wallpaper” one of the clients told me. “Sticking with the same sound for all these years initially gave us consistency, but now we’ve got a lot of catching up to do simply because we failed to evolve. People just don’t ‘see’ us anymore”.
The other client told me “We’ve lost our way. Our press looks good, our poster advertising looks good, but our radio: Ugh. We’re throwing all kinds of ideas at the wall to see what sticks. And so far, nothing is.”
When clients get bored with their image, they’ll get bored with their advertising. The less inspirational their advertising gets, the less they’ll spend on it. Which is bad news for everyone concerned. My thought is that we should do as much as we can to not let our clients get bored with what they have. This week, I’m having a catch-up meeting with a client whom I have had for about 3 years. The client hasn’t asked for it, neither is he expecting it, but I will be bringing some new ideas along to re-energise and put a new perspective to the format we are currently using. My hunch is that the idea will be a tads too brave for the client and much of the material won’t be used. But that doesn’t concern me. What it will do is start the thought process well before the sound gets too tired and the client has to invest significant sums to catch up.
Another thing I saw on my travels this week: On the M3, I spotted a car emblazoned with the sign: “Earn at least £3000 a week by working from home. The proven way to gain great wealth by running your own business”.
I would have had more faith in the sign if it wasn’t emblazoned on an X-reg Peugeot.
Complete proof that a strong advertising message will be completely ruined if the environment it is placed on is completely contradictory.
John Calvert. Airforce. www.airforce.co.uk