Opinion: Unerman On ... Co-operation

Imagine a future where instead of seeking assurances that their agencies keep all their information entirely confidential, clients ask their agencies (media or creative) to share their plans with other advertisers.

Imagine a future where instead of seeking assurances that their

agencies keep all their information entirely confidential, clients ask

their agencies (media or creative) to share their plans with other

advertisers.



It couldn’t happen, right? Wrong. It may already be starting. Five

Japanese companies are together developing one brand to update their

images. Aimed at young, urban Japanese women, the new brand, called

WiLL, aims to include a car, a fridge, a beer, a deodorant, a computer

and a holiday.



The idea of five companies jointly owning and developing one brand marks

a shift from old marketing sense to new marketing sense.



This collaboration between non-conflicting clients has several benefits:

it has reverence for the power of the brand. It also allows

multi-dimensional products to be marketed under that brand name without

stretching credibility or quality because companies do not have to

operate outside their areas of expertise. It exploits the efficiencies

of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. And it makes the

brand tangible in many different ways at once, allowing the co-operating

WiLL companies to surround their target audience in a way that very few

single-company brands are able to do.



For all these reasons, we can expect to see more such partnerships.In

fact, I am already seeing more and more examples where clients are

seeking to find partners among our other clients to use their combined

resource and expertise to tackle a particular problem target market.



What better than a media agency or full-service agency to promote these

kind of partnerships; after all, we know the brands, we know the

strategies, we know the target markets.



We are actively promoting the idea of surrounding a target audience.

Because, as more people become ad-avoiders, it’s no longer any use

waiting for them to become ’available’ to view traditional media. You

have to hunt them down.



Rather than putting the brand in front of the target market merely when

they are technically ’available to view’, we must look for the times

when, and places where, the target market is open to the particular

message offered by the advertising.



For example, for a fashion advertiser you could use any of the times

when the target market is thinking fashion (from ads in Ally McBeal to

posters in shopping centres).



Selling the same brand to the target market - but with different product

offerings during the relevant moments - fits the real lives of the

target market brilliantly.



So rather than thinking about share of voice or dominating a medium, we

should think about share of a particular mind-frame, and aim to dominate

that.



Perhaps in the future, we will see more requests for us to lower the

traditional Chinese walls between client teams and drive communication

solutions purely by the best answer, so long as there is a clear win/win

outcome.



Sue Unerman is the director of strategic solutions at MediaCom TMB.



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