Palmer Blog

How To Be A Great Advertiser

Posted by Drew Palmer on Wed, Jul 13, 2011 @ 09:18 AM

"I heard that Ikea was recently named by Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as the 2011 “advertiser of the year.” How does a company earn that distinction?

Good question – especially for those of us in advertising. Because we’d all love to have our clients singled out as “advertiser of the year.” And here’s why.

If you look at why the Cannes officials named Ikea as advertiser of the year, the main reason noted was Ikea’s willingness to “encourage creative, unconventional and humorous advertising to raise awareness of the Ikea brand.” They also noted that despite the fact that Ikea operates in countries around the globe, they have the ability to “localize its global target market and create ad campaigns that vary significantly across geographic boundaries, while adapting to the unique marketing conditions and sensibilities of each country.” Huh?

Well, let’s look at that last comment first. Simply put, it means no matter where they advertise; they create advertising that resonates with the people of the country they’re advertising in. If they advertise in the United States, for example, you can rest assured that the ads would be funny to our standards of humor. And if they advertise in England, it will be a totally different campaign.

As for they’re ability to “encourage creative, unconventional and humorous advertising,” what ad agency wouldn’t want a client that asked for advertising that breaks through the clutter. In the case of Ikea, it’s that humor that defines their brand. What’s amazing, though, is that they don’t simply use one agency to do all the creative. In the U.S., they use Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami. They have a Stockholm agency that does their social media advertising, along with a different ad agency in each country to do that “unconventional and humorous advertising.”

But what they also have is a singular purpose, and that is what drives their creative output. The company says, let our ads define our brand – and the agencies go to work creating ads that meet that goal. Seems like it’s working; not only are sales growing at a fast clip in a down economy; they’ve also won over 50 Cannes Lions since 1991. And those Cannes Lions for creative excellence aren’t given out lightly.

Want to be “advertiser of the year?” You can – at least in your advertising agencies’ heart; just by letting them do what they do best. And that’s producing effective advertising that meets their clients’ goals. Yours.

Tags: branding, Integrated Marketing, effective advertising, creative