Brands should have liquid approach: Mildenhall

VARCA, GOA: Marketers should keep the content flowing in order to hold the consumers captive for long. At Goafest 2012, Coca-Cola VP - global advertising strategy and creative excellence Jonathan Mildenhall shared his views on the need of ‘liquid approach‘ in today‘s advertising.

The man who is responsible for leading global creative vision and strategy for Coca-Cola‘s portfolio of global brands talked his company‘s drive from creative to content excellence. "The purpose of content excellence is to create ideas that are so contagious that they cannot be controlled. We call this ‘Liquid‘, and these ideas are so relevant to our business objectives, our brands and consumer interests that we call them linked. We tell stories, provoke conversations and earn disproportionate share of popular culture."

According to Mildenhall, smart conversations lead to popular culture. "The conversation model that we have developed begins with brand stories. These brand stories create liquid and linked ideas. These ideas further provoke conversations. We then need to act and react to these conversation 365 days a year."

He said that Coca-Cola is committed to radical creative development. "There are key drivers to change - we need to double the size of our business and observe distribution of creativity. Consumer generated stories outnumber Coca- Cola Company generated stories on most of our brands. We need to fuel both these truths. The third key driver is distribution of technology. We now have greater connectivity and consumer empowerment than ever before. One can leverage consumer behaviour with Facebook, develop deeper emotional connect with her. What advertisers are looking for is bigger, liquid ideas that will drive popular culture."

Technology can enable brilliant creativity. It can "generate ideas where we cannot separate the message from the technology. One should integrate technologists in the core creative team. We must develop direct relationships with the technology companies."

Mildenhall also stressed on the need for marketers to focus on the evolution of storytelling. "We need to move from one-way to dynamic storytelling. Dynamic storytelling is the development of incremental elements of brand idea that get dispersed systematically across multiple channels of conversation for the purpose of creating a unified and co-coordinated brand experience. The five types of this storytelling are - serial, multi-faceted, spreadable, immersion and discover and engagement storytelling."

Content creation is an opportunity to connect with the consumers at every contact point and tell an emotional story. "The story should be able to connect to the consumer; it should be able to create a space in the consumer‘s heart. The brand story should be remembered by all; storytelling must show a commitment to making the world a better place. Our powerful position in the world affords us to bring significant positive change in the world." he averred.

He also said that the role of content excellence is to behave like a ruthless editor. Otherwise, one will risk creating noise.

He talked about applying the 70/20/10 investment principle for liquid content. In the entire marketing budget, 70 per cent is allocated to low-risk media options such as television, OOH, print and radio, 20 per cent is allocated to online while 10 per cent is invested in high-risk media properties, Mildenhall said.

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