Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Words from the wise: Creative marketers tell all, to Creativity Magazine...

Coming up very soon, Creativity Magazine's staff will offer us our next chance to share the insights they've gleaned from top creatives and creative marketers, when the annual Creativity 50 report appears in their February issue. In the meantime, below, I'm presenting some of the confessions printed in the magazine's third annual Creative Marketers Report last October. You can also access the 2007 Creativity 50 report here. If you're interested in meeting any of the individuals featured -- each of whom is credited with helping their respective company stand apart by virtue of breakthrough marketing tactics -- contact the magazine's staff and try to wrangle your way onto the guest list for the upcoming, invitation-only bash honoring the 2008 Creativity 50.

. 20th Century Fox: Lisa Licht, executive vice-president, global partnerships: "You've got to strike a chord. And that might sound so trite but it's really understanding what your brand or product is. I don't consider most movies a brand. The Simpsons is a brand; X-Men is a brand; A Night at the Museum is a movie. But either way it's about understanding what your product is and finding a clever, memorable way for people to experience it."
. Coca-Cola: Marc Mathieu, senior VP/global brand marketing/creative excellence: "The whole idea of 'point of view' was something that had completely disappeared from the brand." After assembing a global team of brand and marketing managers, "they started digging into the past of the brand, doing some fundamental brand archaeology work to understand what Coke had stood for at the best of its history, and therefore how to take from the past, but look toward the future."
. Discovery Channel: Julie Willis, senior VP-marketing: "What we learned from Planet Earth is that people don't really come to the network for shows that they really love, they come for a place to really celebrate the world."
. eBay: Kevin McSpadden, eBay's senior director of brand marketing: "Our CMO Gary Briggs and I decided that we needed to put an adrenaline drip into our brand, and make sure that as it gets older, that it doesn't lose its verve, vitality and youthfulness.... The reality is that people do love to win."
. howies: David and Clare Hieatt, co-founders: "The thing that has not changed from day one is the desire to make people think about the world we live in. This is, and always will be, why we are in business."
. Method: Eric Ryan, co-founder: "The idea for the company started as a brand concept. It really started from a brand point of view, and then we built a company around that.... We're in the unique -- or, you could say, stupid -- situation of going up against not one Goliath player, but seven Goliath players who have really deep marketing pockets, so we pretty much have to do what money can't buy."
. Penguin Books: Kathryn Court, Penguin U.S. president/publisher: "We really want young people to read all of these books because they either haven't read them or they started reading them in school but they just weren't that exciting to them. I knew we were onto something when we published Candide and my 16-year-old granddaughter asked for three copies to take to school. That meant we tapped into something interesting...."
. Skoda: Mary Newcombe, U.K. head of marketing: "Frankly, it was the most frightening idea ever. I could see at the time it could be either brilliant or a huge catastrophe. It was all or nothing.... It just felt like the right thing to do, as frightening as the entire process was almost from the moment that I left the room until it was on the air."
. Threadless: CCO Jeffrey Kalmikoff: "This is a company run by real people who believe and participate in their own project. There isn't a secret to making things appear that way, you just do it or you don't."