Brands need creative that’s more than skin deep

TMG Creative Director, Ashley, shares some thoughts on remembering your why when creating content, and how over-focusing on style can get in the way of making your brand memorable for the right reasons.

It’s the most consistent question I ask of myself, our team and that our clients ask of us. “What makes this stand out” or “How can we make this more (insert funky adjective here)”

Style is easy – it’s adding more tools to the production process – bigger and better cameras, sound design, eye-catching graphics, animation.

But creating something of substance, this is where real impact is made. Creating a stronger connection with your audience.

Style or substance – the creative dilemma

Being a creative agency and a creative person leading a creative team, style is like a comfy old pair of trainers. It’s easy to understand, push, challenge and make it better.

It’s also easy for Brands to understand too – make it bigger, make it sexier, make it flashier.

And if you get it right, it can be enough to make people remember your brand. Stylish creative can certainly command attention.

But, most of the time when style rules, people remember the content but they don’t necessarily remember the who or the why.

And it’s no surprise in today’s digital landscape. Consumers are, on average, shown between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. It’s why we can often remember seeing something new, like the latest productivity tool, but when we come to search for the product online we simply can’t recall the brand name.

Can we have both?

Don’t get me wrong, style shouldn’t be washed out of creative, this isn’t about making creative that’s simpler or less flashy or sexy.

It’s about giving it substance, asking ‘why’ when making your content.

Why should someone watch this

Why should someone care

Why should they engage, do more than just watch, and actually care about your Brand?

It’s about answering the why, and letting it lead the creative.

And the answer might even be style. Some content is just about showing the style of the brand.

That is the ‘why’.

But more often, there’s an opportunity to explore the Brand’s values, to deliver an important message or tell a story through your creative, rather than just making it look good.

Finding the emotional why

At TMG, we regularly put people at the heart of the content we produce. It’s emotional, it’s easy to connect to, and it’s memorable.

We drill down and really fight with the ‘why’ of everything we create and then use that to challenge every decision we make on a project.

We understand why we are making something and what we want people to do when they watch it, read it, see it.

So often we come back to emotion, the ‘cheat code’ for making people do something, making them feel something. To make them remember a feeling, nostalgic, proud, happy, sad.

Emotion is memorable. Use it the same way you would use style in your content and you’ll create something that has a lasting Brand impact.

Once you’ve found your why, your emotion driving the creative, then you can build from there. Use it to inform production: how do we film this? What imagery do we use? What language and tone of voice? Test it all against your why – will this actually make people do what you want?

Make them feel something.

Make creative work harder than just making something beautiful.

Make it mean something.

Make your brand, mean something.

See how we make creative work for brands through creative marketing and campaigns.

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