When I first started working in the design industry over 10 years ago at a creative agency I couldn’t help but notice a discord between the marketing and creative design team. This article sums up what I often saw. However, one of our very first clients was a former marketer and I was hired to produce a logo for her new venture. It was, and remains one of my favourite projects. The reason it worked so well was because we respected each other’s skill set and expertise. Designers are great empathisers and able to put themselves in the shoes of the audience and know what visuals will motivate them, marketers are great at helping us to analyse the research data and see the saleable routes and so there is no obvious divide between these two distinct teams.
March of the Dimes is a useful real life example of where marketers and creatives have worked seamlessly together to transform and make a huge impact for their clients. This not-for-profit organisation undertakes groundbreaking research on gene therapy and studies of premature birth.
It is tasked with selling a product to prevent birth defects – arguably something that people don’t even want to think about. So in 1995 the board of March of the Dimes commissioned a market research project to explore perceptions of the organisation and learn how it might present it’s mission more powerfully. The illuminating market research focused on consumer level perceptions and led to a powerful campaign that centred on the Hero archetype.
These carefully analysed insights were passed on to the creative team to come up with corresponding visuals and outputs. As the lead marketer Margaret Mark quotes “The advertising agency translated these insights into a wonderful campaign.” — Margaret Mark, The Hero and The Outlaw. The resulting brand strategy is still in use today and March of the Dimes making the most of it with the likes of hero masks and capes merchandise which not only raise funds for their medical research they help to create brand loyalty, engagement and peer to peer marketing on the likes of Twitter. The company was later named the official nonprofit of the 8th Annual M2Moms® (Marketing to Moms) Conference.
Whatever way you voted, it’s impossible to escape the news of the EU Referendum and Brexit campaign. Is it too soon to discuss how the EU referendum campaigns utilised marketing and branding? Probably.
However, earlier this year I sat on a panel for a debate between Newcastle and Durham University entitled: ‘should marketing be concerned with ethics?” Had this debate been post referendum I’ve no doubt it would have been even more lively.
When it comes to branding and our #brandspirations list as part of our new blog series, this article highlights 7 lessons businesses and organisations can learn from the referendum campaign.
We’d like to draw your attention to point number 5.
According to MSG Works, the Leave campaign had an “instantly recognisable and memorable brand: Brexit.” This also rolled off the tongue nicely, “not scary at all. Remain had no equivalent.” They continue by saying “a good brand can build trust, recognition, identity and desire. If you get it right, it makes your other marketing so much easier.”
As I typographer I also agree with MSGs comment further in the article about the design of the polling card:
“There are two basic problems for Remain with the official card, one of design and one of language. First, consider the layout of the official card: all of the layout and weight of the copy naturally draw the eye down to the bottom right corner. It draws you down to leave. This is an important element of all good marketing design – use visual cues to lead the customer towards the action you want them to take.
Now lets look at the wording: firstly, there is a reason the electoral commission rejected a Yes / No answer. It is much easier to answer yes than no. Nobody likes to be negative or to reject things. Secondly, the Remain option is long and complicated. Leave is much shorter and easier to read. By the time you have processed the Remain information, your brain has already subconsciously digested “Leave”. Finally, Leave is last. There is a reason why sales letters or emails often end with a PS. It is because people naturally skim to the end. They will look at the headline, maybe the opening sentence and then the end before deciding whether all the other copy is worth reading. This is why you should always finish your marketing communications with a strong call to action.”
I was quite surprised when I read this as I wondered if it was just me? I too had to do a double take to make sure I was putting my cross in the box. The disconnect between the campaign language and the wording on the card for remain was a schoolboy error. It should have just said IN.
Whatever your thoughts on the EU Referendum, we welcome your professional thoughts on the campaign – did you fall for Brexit branding? Or were you confused by the typography on your polling card?
At One Line we’re making sure creative and marketing stay friends in order to help our ethically motivated clients continue to thrive which is why over the next few weeks you’ll see some new articles that focus on branding and marketing so stay tuned.