It’s often said that the greatest example of consumers embracing a brand is the propensity of some to have the Harley Davidson logo tattooed on some body part or other. The point is that no greater love hath any man than to willingly desecrate his person in tribute to a commercial enterprise.
According to urban myth, orthodox Jews, however, can’t join the party for the simple reason that even one tiny tattoo eliminates the possibility of being buried in a Jewish cemetery. This suggests that the almighty objects to the defacement of his work though as yet the Talmud remains as silent on the matter as it does on the use of Botox.
Let’s assume for a moment that this is true. What to do if you wish to declare your infatuation? Well, the answer is in the widget business. One of the singular attractions of creating another ‘you’ is that you can set new, and less painful, rules of self-desecration. To that end any advertiser who decides to create a widget and enable its distribution has some home of achieving a persistent presence for their brand, service or message on the personal profiles of its customers and fans from Facebook to iGoogle.
We all know that passive consumption of advertising has challenges, we know also that brand websites are very rarely as ‘sticky’ as their owners or authors would like and that neither strategy is wholly dependable. My friend, Mike Lundgren (from sister agency VML), said only yesterday that ‘if your ad is not on YouTube it probably sucks’ and he opens up a compelling debate on how to value communication.
In a recent post I suggested that every communications brief should now ask ‘why should someone keep this communication and why should they share it?’. I am starting (thoughts please) to think that we need to think about levels of preference, relevance and engagement that look right to the heart of the businesses we operate and the brands we create. This in turn requires a very rare blend of sobriety, integrity and creativity delivered through a dual filter of consumer insight and corporate self awareness.
Success is measured in the tracking of persistent brand presence. Who? How many? How often shared?. If nothing else we will give people a way to show us their love in this life without compromising the next one.