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Today's Creative Presentation

June 15, 2009 9:22 AM

By Meg Moody, Associate Creative Director, The Halo Group

So you’re a butcher. Or a baker. Or a candlestick maker.* And you’re questioning your creative presentation-—are you using the right media elements to build your message and develop your brand? But you’re inundated with options and choices and articles proclaiming, The new trend is here! It’s sweeping the world. It’s the new obsession with preteens, teens and post-teens.

You start to ask yourself, “what is a post-teen?” and make a note to google Wikipedia for the definition of post-teen just as your phone rings ... and it’s your ad agency, or your marketing guy or your kid, for that matter, singing the praises of the next new thing, which happens to contradict the article you just read about the previous new thing... You sigh, and mutter, “too many things, too many channels, far too complicated.”

But rest assured, there’s a small secret that communications folks would like to keep on the down-low: The basics are the same. There are just a few new ingredients. And so this brings us to cookies...

Cookies aren’t too complicated are they? No. Never. They are delicious. And consumable. And easily made into a metaphor for today’s creative presentation.

In your basic cookie, let’s say chocolate chip, you’ve got butter and flour—print media. You’ve got sugar—radio. You’ve got eggs—outdoor. Baking soda—sponsorships, and chocolate chips—television and product placement. You used to have to decide the simple ratios, cream the butter and sugar, add your dry ingredients and pop them in the oven. And if you were really adventurous, you chose dark chocolate chips instead of milk (gasp!)....

But today, you’re bombarded with candy-covered chocolates, chocolate chunks, sprinkles, coconut flakes, peanut butter, oatmeal ... in the guise of interactive site buyouts, banners, sponsorships, ambient outdoor ... Twitter, Facebook, YouTube...

Today, a new monster cookie** has been created, leaving you to decide which ingredients will come together to make the best creative presentation.

Well, it’s really pretty simple. When you boil it all down, today’s creative presentation is the same as it has been since the dawn of time. It begins with your message-—what do you want to say to your consumers? Are you chocolate chip, are you sugar, are you peanut butter or are you oatmeal? Then, decide which ingredients will best enhance that message.

Look at your ingredients-—your various media options—as a way to give your brand some personality, some texture and a flavor that makes it stand out from the competition.

Use your ingredients purposefully. Use interactive site buyouts to talk to very specific groups of people-—Twitter to make a direct connection with consumers who have already opted in, Facebook to build a virtual community around your brand and ambient outdoor to put your brand in the middle of actual community.

While the recipe can get a bit complicated, the good news is that most of today’s media options are quantifiable, trackable, justifiable, customizable, targeted and if by chance you don’t see the results you might be hoping for, they’re easily changeable.

The good news is that if you begin with the basics, if you begin with your message, you can have some fun with the ingredients to make the best darn cookie on the market.

* The Halo Group realizes that you may not be a baker, a butcher or a candlestick maker.
   But there are nuggets of wisdom still to come, so we do hope that you will continue reading...

** In case you’re curious, Monster Cookie: 1/2 C flour
                   4 tsp Baking Soda
                     1 lb Brown Sugar
                   1.5 tsp Vanilla
                   2 C Sugar
                   6 Eggs
                   .5 lb Butter
                   1.5 lb Peanut Butter
                   9 C Oatmeal
                   1lb of any kind of candy you’d like

                   Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla and peanut butter,
                   fold in dry ingredients followed by candy.
                   Bake 10–12 minutes at 350.
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