The Communications Leader


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How to manage the overall brand communication process

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The Communications Leader

  1. 1. 1The communications plan is the bridge between What comes first: the media or the creative? Youyour brand strategy and the expressions of should look to a concurrent path, where you have athat strategy. media guideline of a few that you want to explore, then narrow it down to a media range once you seeYou’ll realize you’ll never have enough money to the idea…and then narrow it to a media directiondo what you want. You must flex your Investment as you see your core ads coming to life.Muscle to ensure that you get the most of what youhave. Minimizing the non working dollars allows you Understand how each medium works, so you can taketo maximize the working dollars. It’s the showing of full advantage of the different choices, and so yourthe ad that usually generates the most return. decisions are strategic and not just based on whatTHE you like. COMMUNICATIONSLEADER The Overall Communications Plan Think of it Like an InvestmentTHE INVESTMENTMUSCLE This is where Art meets BusinessYou want to focus your spend in a way that has the • Can you combine the production ofhighest impact as we all work with limited budgets. TV and print in a way that leveragesThe best plans are those that make the most out of similar costs?what they have, as many times it is the focus of the • Are you aware of your productionidea that makes it even bigger than it really is. talent cycles? • If you are making a 30, why not make a 25Try to balance the “non-working” dollars (e.g.: and a 15 so you don’t have to go back toproduction) against “working” dollars (e.g.: media the edit studio?costs). It’s the showing of the ad that usually • Does your media plan balance the use ofgenerates the most return. 30s and 15s?For example, if you think of it like a muscle: • Do you have enough money for a 2nd and In the spirit of maximizing “working dollars”, it’s not 3rd medium? just a media vs production decision—but rather a • Have you maximized your decision on “just how many projects can we do”. primary medium? Use this type of thinking right across your brand’s • Is the weight you are buying wear budget, whether it’s a choice between more media out weight? and a professional ad, or how we build our pre- • Do you need to do both English pack program. and French?
  2. 2. 2As a general rule, the non-working dollars should media…should you be making a $300M TV ad…oronly account for 10-20% of the overall project. would you be better to do only 3 radio ads forIt could also influence what media you pick. $60M…and up the media to $1.44MM. It soundsFor example, if you have only $1.2MM in simple, but it is done all the time.WHAT YOUNEED TO SPENDIf you choose TV, you need at least 700 GRPs in a For Radio, given its inefficiencies in the media buy, itgiven flight to begin to make an impact. Anything is almost as expensive as TV, and doesn’t necessarilyless and you won’t reach the ideal weight to provide pay back for our type of brands. Radio is great formeaningful breakthrough on reach frequency. Also, a call to action event eg: go buy a car, or go buyyou won’t be able to measure it in tracking. Total a suit.Cost per 100 GRPS is $150M for a total budget of$1MM per flight. For anything less than these amounts, under the idea of flexing your investment muscle, you wouldFor Print or Out of Home (OOH) you could get be better off doing a regional test to prove whetherfair to good coverage with $500M nationally. One it pays back. The Visine outdoor program in Torontothing you have to realize is that for outdoor, you will is a great example of utilizing funds to their max.normally have to pay for producing the vinyl as well, All dollars focused on Downtown Toronto andwhereas magazine has no added costs. received a good read in tracking. The good read in tracking gives you the confidence to expandBUDGETING the coverage.THINGSProduction Dollars Try to maximize your talent costs by negotiating up • English TV Production: $250-500M. front and you can usually reduce the talent fees for • French TV Production $150-200M. extending the talent to other parts of the campaign. • Print or OOH Production $25-60M Also, think in 13-week cycles as you do your TV • Radio Production: $10-15M. planning. Don’t waste $20M if you don’t have to.You can always find any agency to do something Make The Most Of What You havevery cheap, but you pay for what you get. Try to always maximize what you have. Flex thatIt depends on what you want or what your investment muscle.brand needs. Try to spend the most you can on getting theTalent Fees consumer to see what you have done. Maximize • TV 13-Week Cycles: $10-20M. media against production dollars, talent dollars or • Print/OOH/Instore: $5-25M. even against how many media choices you make. (Depends on up front negotiation) If you are uncertain about your idea, focus on one • Celebrity Talent: $100-200M per year medium, one market and one period. (or more)
  3. 3. 3THE INVESTMENTMUSCLE The Use of 15 secondsHow 15s work in Canada Media Timing: As a rough guideline, you should air the base 30sec spot for 800-1200 GRPs and thenMedia Cost: The cost of a stand alone 15sec spot moving to the 15sec spot, which should then airis 65% of the cost of a 30s. To avoid this premium, between 1000-2000 GRPs. For Reactine, we havewhat we have been doing is pairing up the 15sec been using the 15sec spot to continue to drive homespots, so that for each 15sec spot you only pay 50% the message in the back half of the allergy season.of a 30s. We have been pairing up the 3 brands For LPP, we have used 15sec spots exclusivelythat are using 15sec spots, and will utilize Benylin as since mid 2002 as a way to get media continuitya future partner. with a limited budget. For Listerine Mouthwash, we are using 15sec spots at the 1000GRP markProduction Process and Cost: Usually a 15sec as a way to gain efficiencies once the core ad ideaspot is a cut down edit created after the current is established.30sec spot has already been aired. The usualcost is between $15-20M and sometimes the Market Tracking: IPSOS reports that 15sec spotsconsequence is a choppy edit. What we have been see a very similar result on break-through and branddoing is building the 15sec spot into the production link. but see less of the main message breakthrough.costs and timing upfront which reduces the costs Part of that is biased by the idea that mostand forces the agency to do a script for the 15sec brands that go to a 15sec spot will likely have aspot ahead of time and film it as a 15sec spot during well established campaign that easily breaksthe shoot. The result is less cost and a spot that through. For us, the main message concern is off-setflows better. by the fact that we likely have 1000 GRPs of the 30sec spot providing that link to the main message take-away.GOING FORWARDOur proposed guiding principles for Canada are: 1. Build the making of the 15sec spot into 3. Ensure that the strategy fits the given need of the initial script and production process. the brand.2. Look for partners to ensure we do not pay 4. Move to the 15 sec spot at the 1000 GRP level. media premiums.
  4. 4. 4THEMEDIA Media Choices thatSTRATEGY Fits your Strategy Total Branding to the many Me’s of Me“Be where they are” is an idea that forces you to You might have more time during part of the day.think through where your consumer is and how You might be more apt to think about your healththey interact with the different mediums. at the beginning of the month or year. (eg Diets start usually at the first of the month) People actThe converse to investment focus is to try to differently on a Sunday (uptight and planning outbe everywhere all the time or at least give the their week) then they do on a Thursday (excitedappearance of that. Not all brands can do this. about the weekend).Realize that you think and act differently at different You should challenge your teams to think aboutparts of your day or week or even month. how the consumers mindset is in a given activity before committing. If you have a cold, are you outTAKE A WALK IN driving a car or inside reading the TV guide?THEpretend to be the consumer.SHOEScreative out for a “test drive”. Don’tActually CONSUMER’S Also, take theIf it’s outdoor, go see the place they recommend judge a print ad by seeing it on a nice board, butand try to feel for how your ad will feel. Same thing rather ask for it in the situation of where it wouldwith any medium — pretend to see it on tv or be bought. It’s amazing how different it will a magazine. It’s amazing that sometimes the ad Your decision making will be different, if you actactually feels different in the environment then it like a consumer and see how it looks and feels indoes on a board. or in a drawing. that situation.WHAT COMESFIRSTThe Media or the Creative Idea Sometimes it’s the Creative Idea, mediums before seeing whether it would work or not. Sometimes it’s the Media, That might actually be a test as to whether it is a Sometimes It’s Chocolate”. good idea. Lynn Mayer, Zenith Optimedia On the other hand, some ideas work harder inA good ad idea can be stretched up, down and different mediums. Trying to force fit the ad ideasideways. If it is a truly good idea, it should be able into the wrong medium might spell disaster as youto carry across various mediums. I like to ask the could end up with an outdoor ad with 38 wordscreative team to take the ad into a few different on it.
  5. 5. 5You have to be the “expert” on this decision. With both sides and try to feel how it may or may nottwo different agencies, it is you that should listen to work in a given setting.THE ADVERTISINGLADDER From Strategy to Expression Brand Vision Where Are We? Brand Issues We Face Media Guidelines Strategies to Meet Target Audience Ad Platform Media Range Creative Strategy Big Ideas Communication with Creative Expressions Agency should go up Final Media Direction Ad Architecture and down this ladder Tone/Feel Ad Elements Final AdThe media choice has 3 major touch points in the have an idea of where, the range begins to focusadvertising process. The guideline is where you on a one or a few, and the direction is where you pinpoint it.PRIMARY VSSECONDARY MEDIAWith our budget levels, it makes sense to build your do to set it up so that our primary choice worksmedia plan around one primary medium—the one even harder. Ideally, work on the secondary inthat you feel will work the hardest for the task you conjunction with the TV, as it could save on costsneed to do. and give a better link into the main idea.The secondary media becomes the supplement to There is ample research that shows that two mediumsthe primary. What I like to do is to think “what is working together in harmony, will produce bettermy primary media NOT doing?”. Is there a target results. It’s not always easy getting your 2 mediumswe are not reaching, there a message we are not on at the same time,....but it creates large benefits toable to get through,...or is there a task we need to your task.
  6. 6. 6THE MEDIACHOICES Strengths & WeaknessesTELEVISION StrengthsImmediate reach with strong frequency There is an opportunity to target via specialty channels or selective “appointment” TV.It’s the most intrusive —and creates a “talkabout” factor. Creatively, because it has sight/sound/motion, it’s the easiest medium to get a complex idea to theEfficient versus mass targets—the highest reach for consumer. You can demonstrate easily, you canthe money. break through in a big way…and it’s the best vehicle for showing emotion.WeaknessesThere is a high cost for continuity It’s a more highly regulated and visible media.The production costs are the greatest—around$250M - 500M for the making of a TV ad. Make It has long lead times to booksure you have enough weight to make the most of weight, but also long lead timesthe fixed cost. to make the spots, which means less flexibility.TV has a lot of clutter and people have a love/hatewith TV ads. Creatively, people get fixated on the 30 second TV ad—and tend to gravitate to traditional rather than creative means.Understand the TV CalendarThe “old” TV media periods were always: G2 = Xmas Season: Pay the highest premiums.P1 = Sept to Dec, P2 = Jan to May, P3 = Jun to With the most new news for brands, will you evenAug But more in a modern sense, there feels like stand out?5 different periods. Each period has its benefits, butyou should try to understand how your brand fits G3= The Cold Dead of Winter: Efficiency Plus.or doesn’t fit. My favourite media buy. It has the highest viewership, yet is still low demand. Great for a non-seasonalG1 = Back to School: All the new TV shows. brand because of the great value. Many high reachYou can find some very rich high reach properties that vehicles can supplement your value GRPs such asare great for launching new news, but you might want award shows, Super Bowls, supplement it with some great inventory of tried,tested and true, if you have a limited budget. Avoid too G4 = Season Finales: Spring Time. The retailersmuch uncertainty, given 1 in 10 new shows makes it. start advertising now,…heavy beer and spring
  7. 7. 7seasonal brands (allergy/lawn mowers). With the G5 = Summer Time. It’s not as bad as it used to be.high reach over this period, it’s good value even at In fact in the modern world, there are many newthe higher prices. Can get great specific target buys shows to take a chance on. 90210, Survivor andwith the live action sports. Millionaire were all summer start ups. After 9pm, viewing is almost equal to peak seasons.Get a feel for the TV MathMost TV media finds their efficiency balance around working demos, you might want 70% prime but you100 GRPs, with a 60% prime split and a 20% have to pay for it.specialty allocation. For % of specialty, it depends whether your targetFor most of our brands, 100 GRPs per week should can skew towards appointment TV. Two targets: (eg:be enough. Realize that media is a balance between working moms and sports nuts have viewing habitsreach and frequency. Going beyond around 150 “by appointment”) You can sometimes best captureGRPs, you reach the diminishing returns on reach them by focusing on key shows or networks.and start spending all on frequency towards theheavy TV viewers only. A Tip: lay down a basic plan of around 100 GRPs and set aside a 10% fund to supplementFor % prime split, it depends on your target. If it in whichever strategic way makes best have a family or female skew, you can lower With LPP, we did high reach award shows. Withthe prime ratio to 50% and get more media for Reactine, we did live-action sporting events.your dollars. Conversely, if you brand is skewed to This will balance efficiency against your brand’s objectives.RADIO StrengthsEffective against many active, especially for the hard Very targeted, with specific radio formatsto reach demographics. The production costs should be around $15-30M,Excellent frequency for getting your message to a which is great if you have a smaller budget. Thesmaller target. media cost of 60s is only 10-20% more than a 30s. So if you have a lot of info, opt for the 60.It has short lead times and more flex. That meansit’s great for a secondary medium to support a TV It’s a “call to action” medium, and you’ll find mostad you just made. retailers use it. For example, “buy it now” or “get this cool promo”.WeaknessesPeople tend to have it on as a background medium There is a high cost of national coverage for Canada.(non-participatory) when they are driving, at Radio is bought on a local basis—unlike otherhome, or outside. It makes for a low involvement countries like the US or UK, there is no nationalmedium—yes the audience is captive, but are they radio network.really listening?
  8. 8. 8There doesn’t seem to be much creativity in radio There are a lack of visuals.spots—lots of room, but no one seems to be doing“great radio”.NEWSPAPER StrengthsEfficient versus a mass target, but has Creatively, there is anfrequency issues opportunity for long copy, which can be very useful for providing details of information. It’s a match forGreat for announcement or creating immediacy those “medically motivated” types that want morefor action. information.Newspapers are where people go to get their information.It seems that it’s counter balanced against TV—lightTV viewers It has short lead times and is very inexpensive on productionWeaknessesNewspapers have a short issue/ad life. No one Like radio, it’s not very national, outside of thereads twice—say compared to magazines. Globe or Post—which are still Toronto Centric.It gets very expensive to maintain continuity, Creatively, you will probably be disappointed inespecially if you have to buy papers on a local level. the final production quality. As well, it can be inconsistent across the country.OUTDOOR StrengthsHigh frequency and strong reach, which makes itefficient for mass targets. Creatively, it can have a big IMPACT, especially if your message is very simple.You can get to the light TV viewers. You can be tactical (select locations) or innovative by going beyond just the normal board.WeaknessesOn a creative basis, there is limited copy scope. expensive if you want to do it for a longer period ofIf you look at most outdoor ads, you’ll find time. That means high NON working dollars.major flaws; too much copy, too small of a tagline, confusing visual. Keep in mind, you drive by There is a long lead time for space and production—it, which makes it harder to evaluate while in especially at different times of the year.the car. In Canada, outdoor is mixed or inconsistent acrossThere are high production costs because you the country as to how many billboards there arehave to pay for the printing and installation. It gets by city.
  9. 9. 9TRANSIT Interior & Exterior Transit StrengthsA great vehicle for getting to a youthful or It can have a highurban audience. frequency exposure to a core target.Creatively, for the interior ads, there is room for a bit It can be a very captive audience.more fun or text. It also feels like an environmentthat would allow you to be a bit more edgy. The bus shelter ads should be thought of like an outdoor ad since a lot of the reach is “drive by.”Interior & Exterior Transit WeaknessesIt can be non-intrusive competing with so It can get to be expensive with material costs formuch clutter. production. That means high NON working dollars.Limited national reach, coverage is mainly in large Make sure you think through your strategy or yoururban centres. execution. Often this is a nice pick to compliment TV, but a lot of times it doesn’t fit.MAGAZINE StrengthsThe match to editorial environment delivers a Like Newspaper, you can do long copy scope.motivated audience that fully engages in the ads asmuch as the rest of the magazine. It can also counter balance TV, as it delivers light TV viewersIt has strong reach, especially for women, andfairly inexpensive continuity because people keep Creatively, I would think about your magazine listmagazines around for weeks/months and read them and how people read the magazine. Try to see it ina few times. the context of the magazine, so you can understand if there is enough to attract your attention. The 1/3 column pages are great for gaining attention.WeaknessesMagazines in Canada are much more focused on feels like the creativity of the magazine ads of thethe female target. There is room to advertise in US 60s and 70s are being replaced by a commonmagazines like Time (who do a split run) to get to format—which creates clutter. As well, the trendthe male audience. feels like the smaller the font, the better, which I have issues with.While magazine provides continuity, it can be slowerto build reach/frequency. There is a long lead time for space so you betterI have a problem with where the creativity is going plan ahead, especially for the monthlies whosefor magazines—90% of them feel like interesting material closing dates can be up to 3 months beforepicture taking up most of the page, simple catchy the actual publication date.headline and a pack-shot at the bottom right. It
  10. 10. 10OTHERBathroom Ads: I think they tend to fit a very social Movie Theatre Ads: Where you have a beautifulbrand and the edgy style marketing. or high impact TV ad or a social target, you could consider doing this medium. It can be expensive,Internet: Active audience looking for information. but big on breakthrough. Make sure you entertainYou better have a reason to grab or hold the and don’t annoy.consumers’ attention. Direct Mail: Where you have a targeted messageIn-Store: The spot where you can close the deal. It’s or want specific action. This medium is verytightly controlled by News Canada and expensive expensive—so ensure minimal waste on the mailingon pay back. list. That means high NON working dollars.EVERYONESHOULD HAVE P.R. in their PlansIf it’s in the news it has to be true. 2) A spokesperson can create increased credibility.Realize in health care, that people actually seek out 3) Grass-roots events to capture non -information on their health issues. Having a PR TV viewers.presence puts our brand into a more relevant and 4) Put it in the news….if it’s news it mustobjective light. be true 5) Supplement your brands strategies.PR can do things that advertising can’t do: 1) Find a way to say what ASC wouldn’t let you say.
  11. 11. 11THECREATIVE “The smaller the strategy,STRATEGY the bigger the idea”. Paul Lavoie, Taxi.GETTING COPY THAT FITSYOUR STRATEGY Who Writes The Brief?There is great industry debate on this issue. My team to the task of delivering on the brief. That way,view is that it’s the creative agency that writes the you’ll never have an agency person say “oh ya, well,brief; we write the strategic platform, but they write we never really liked the brief anyway”, because it’sthe brief. their brief.I think that it’s the first chance that you have in getting My first challenge is what is the fear in letting themthe agency to buy into your strategy, and this may write the brief? My second challenge is what if thebe the easiest way. It allows the agency to utilize creative team comes back with an idea that is “off-their own wordings etc, and it allows the strategic or strategy”. I’d want to see the idea and if it’s betteraccount people at the agency to hold the creative than the brief, then I air it and re-write the brief. No consumer has ever said “wow, what a great brief ”.TIGHT LANGUAGEOR ROOM TO EXPLORELearn to write your strategies as tight as you can. strategy or benefit, challenge yourself to cross it outThink of your writing as almost being like headlines and see if your strategy is even more powerful.for a newspaper or bumper stickers on a car. Theyare tight, but energizing. Tighter language of your The room to explore things is a bit over-ratedstrategy will give you tight focus to your key message, and confuses the creative team. If you areforcing you to talk to one idea only. unsure of your strategy, go through the creative exploration. If you don’t like it, you can alwaysWhenever you come up with a secondary objective, change the strategy and explore again. A strategy that is not executable is no longer a strategy. Start Again.START EARLYInvite the media team to the presentation. It Sometimes it’s best to start the process them the chance to explore some media Less pressure on the system can allow you to feelideas and allow you to explore how each medium comfortable and soak in with time. Too many times,might look. it’s high pressure/last minute timing that can restrict
  12. 12. 12you from doing everything you want to do with the the idea can go, other mediums or what would itidea. More time allows you to explore where else look like in-store.THE ONETEAM APPROACHThe best ads come from true collaboration. Your It’s when everyone can see the big picture of whatjob is to energize and excite the team. I always say we are trying to do AND everyone sees somethingthat “when we are having fun, so to is the consumer”. in it for them that the best work comes about.There is also an old agency term “you get the ad you The creative team, director, set designer, wardrobedeserve”. Overall, it’s true. When the creative team person and editor all need to find ways to contributeand the brand team work AGAINST each other, it is to your idea.almost impossible to come up with great work.FINALTHOUGHTS1. Flex that investment muscle by making sure your paths. Have a guideline of what you want to do, but“working dollars” are working hard, which means don’t be restrictive.minimize your “non working dollars”. 3. Learn and understand the different media choices.2. What comes first, the media or the creative? Don’t just pick it because it works with your creativeCreative and Media should be done on concurrent idea—but make it so that it works with your target.