Keepin It Simple

Leave it to my dad to forward me yet another newsletter he deems “blog-worthy”. Ever since I told him I was writing an advertising blog for my creative strat class he’s been sending me emails non-stop. Busy as the Marketing Manager of Kenworth trucks I think he wishes he had the time to create a blog and is thus trying to live vicariously through me. He is on the list of distribution for the Brokaw e-mails–an  agency located in Cleveland with clients such as the Cleveland Indians, Vitamin Water and Great Lakes Brewing. He claims the newsletters are  “usually pretty good and make an intelligent statement in each e-mail about what advertising/social media/etc. is really supposed to do in a pretty entertaining and clever way”. This week’s newsletter featured the idea that “less is the new more”. Brokaw claims that it is not what you add to an ad which makes it great but what you take away from it. I took a look at their website and it to embodies this claim. They kept everything very simple and structured their website around navigability, rather than flashy design. I believe this idea of simplicity is largely overlooked in the agency world. So many ads today are trying to do too much; to be too much. Brokaw suggests that you “boil your brand down to a single adjective”. By identifying with one single adjective brands can truly form unique identities. Though the video clip they linked to this week is undoubtedly awful it makes a point about how we need to keep the message simple and memorable. With all the constant bombardment of advertising everyone receives, it is nearly impossible to make one impression, let alone multiple.

Ending his email on a boastful yet proud note my dad wrote…

Kenworth. The World’s Best.  Doesn’t get any simpler.

Hey he has to brag about his own brand’s slogan doesn’t he?

Less is the new more. 

We believe an idea is strengthened by everything that is REMOVED from its message, not ADDED to it. Which might explain why we’d get a nervous twitch if you asked us to convey your brand’s five points of difference in a 300×250 banner ad . . . and then make it viral! (Eww boy.)

Imagine Volvo saying: “Come drive our fast, safe, fuel-efficient, green-conscious, Swedish-engineered car today.” Instead, Volvo just chose to own safe. Period. And Apple . . . innovative. And TNT . . . dramatic. And Whole Foods . . . organic. And Wonderbra, umm, yeah . . . (How ’bout that Tribe?)

Anyhoo, our advice? Try to boil your brand down to a single adjective. Or better yet, just a visual solution and your logo. Believe us, we know it’s not easy. But in the words of Vincent van Gogh, “How difficult it is to be simple.”

A Singular-Focused Message is Easier to Grasp. (Literally.)

A wise ad guy once said: You can’t pound a nail that’s lying on its side. For a more visual analogy, watch this awful vid.

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