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Home | the 360 Degree Campaign: setting things straight

Sunday, August 29, 2010



Among the three hottest topics we continue to hear from marketers around the globe is that of the 360° Campaign (along with the topics of Insights and Social Media/Networking). Sometimes, when we are planning a customized Brand Positioning & Communications College with a client, we will hear them admonish us: “Please do not focus on television and print advertising with your examples; we want our marketers to see more from the current new media—we want to make sure our marketers are working towards a big campaign idea that can go across all media, especially social media.” 


Of course, even before we hear such admonishments, we are highly aware of the bullet-speed changes occurring with the rise of, first, YouTube, then quickly thereafter facebook, Linkedin, twitter, and even digg, among others. If you are a subscriber to Brandweek or Advertising Age here in the United States, you cannot help noticing the increasing skew of lead articles and features each week that deal with marketing innovations via the new media. Here, for example, is a sampling of some of the headlines from such recent articles in these leading publications:

  • “Starbucks gets its business brewing again with social media.” (Ad Age, February 22, 2010)
  • “How YouTube morphed into a movie-marketing darling.” (Ad Age, February 22, 2010)
  • “Japan’s Bee TV generates big buzz with platform that only broadcasts shows to mobile phones.” (Ad Age, June 14, 2010)
  • “How social media is helping the public relations sector not just survive, but thrive.” (Ad Age, August 23, 2010)

So, like many of our long-time clients, we also have a heightened sensitivity to what’s going on in the fast-evolving world of media. Despite the fact that leading marketing companies—like Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, Nestle, and Unilever still spend roughly 66% of their annual “media” dollars for television and print advertising and only 8% for digital (for perspective, for a company such as Procter & Gamble that translates to 2.8 billion dollars and 300 million dollars, respectively)…it’s clear that traditional media will more and more give way to new media. What’s not so clear—based upon our conversations with clients about things like social media—is (back to the title of this week’s Dispatches) “What exactly is a 360° Idea?” Campaign Idea nowadays?” And, having agreed on what it is, an even more pressing question, “How can we better increase the odds of coming up with a truly 360


In an effort to address these two questions we want to share our point-of-view:

  1. What, really, is a 360° “Campaign?”

To our way of thinking, a 360° Campaign Idea is much more than simply the multiple “media” implementation of a creative concept. It’s bigger than that—or, at least, it should be. It is the conscious implementation of the Brand Positioning through a Big, Creative, Campaign Idea across all the brand’s marketing-mix elements:


Typical Marketing-Mix Elements include, for example:


Product Innovation (Improvement, Extension, Sub-Line)

• Packaging (Architecture and Graphics)

• Promotion

Communications/Media (Advertising, Internet, Mobile, etc.)

• Merchandising

Take, for example, our inferred read on the previous Dove Brand Positioning, Campaign Idea, and 360° Implementation:


Brand Positioning (Short-Form): The only skincare brand that brings out your natural beauty…and stands up for the real beauty in you.


Campaign Idea (Concept): Candid shots of real, self-assured women—of all ages—that capture and celebrate a beauty that is much more than skin deep.


360° Implementation: Web videos, promotion, transit boards, television, print, in-store, social media, and so on.


While 360° Campaign Idea is much more than simply a multiple “media” implementation, there can be no doubt that the emergence of social media/networks must be considered as a powerful component in taking the Brand’s Campaign Idea to market.


The more we think about it, the old terminology that marketers used when talking with their various agencies--including things like “Integrated Campaign,” and “Sense-Surround Communications”--ought to be replaced with a more up-to-date meaning: 360° Brand Activation.

  1. How can we better increase the odds of developing a 360° Campaign Idea (one that has “legs”)?

We think the short and simple answer to this genuinely challenging effort goes something like this: The talent working on the Idea and the process to develop it are everything.   To get a little more specific, if the Brand Team chooses to assign Campaign Idea development only to a large, traditionally television-broadcast-driven creative agency, why would anyone expect to see ideas that had immediate and easy application/adaptation to many of the new media? Typically, if you ask a television-fed shop to come up with big ideas, they end up being largely television-based ideas. By the same token, if you ask a hot digital or, even more specialized social media-fed agency to come up with ideas, they end up presenting ideas that are based in those media. So, the Brand Team that sincerely wants a big 360°-potential Campaign Idea must find a way to expand the talent pool working against the brief. 


And, naturally, anytime more than one creative agency works on an assignment, the brand manager’s job becomes more critical and more complicated. As one of our clients recently said, “The success in 360° campaign development rests mostly on the interpersonal skills of the brand manager—the one who, like the orchestra conductor, must find ways to get the most from all the orchestra members…all the while making each one feel as if his part is a solo performance.”


We know it’s so much easier to talk about the 360° Campaign than to actually do one. So, here a few other, practical pointers and principles that we think can help:


360° Campaign Idea Activation: Best Practices Principles

  1. Start with a compelling Consumer Insight
  1. Think BIG - Create a “BIG” Idea (one that obviously has many applications and likely can last a long time)
  1. Resist the Usual
  1. Go and be where your consumer/customer goes: not just places where you brand can reach/touch him or her, but also places where he or she is likely to reach out and touch your brand
  1. Execute/adapt the idea for the specific medium

360° Process: Some More Best Practices

  1. Conduct a team “inspiration session” (brainstorming) to map-out all the places the Target Audience goes and naturally might touch the brand—consistent with the Psychographics and “Telling Behaviors” in the TA Definition.
  1. Involve all creative agencies in the inspiration session:
                    √ Digital agency
                    √ Social Media agency
                    √ Promotion agency
                    √ Ad agency
  1. Conduct the session as part of the Client-Agency joint drafting of the    Creative Brief.
  1. Conclude with a single Creative Brief; assign a “lead” agency to develop the first round of Campaign Ideas.
Richard Czerniawski & Mike Maloney

Richard Czerniawski

430 Abbotsford Road

Kenilworth, Illinois 60043

tel 847.256.8820 fax 847.256.8847

reply to Richard: or



Mike Maloney

1506 West 13th

Austin, Texas 78703

tel 512.236.0971 fax 512.236.0972

reply to Mike: or

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