When you’re developing your marketing campaign what comes first?  Strategy?  Or creativity?  I’m continuing to find some really interesting ideas in Juicing the Orange.  Remember the ad campaign for Lee Jeans that featured Buddy Lee?  The little doll standing there in the Lee Jeans?  In the chapter on Fallon’s work with the Lee brand there’s an interesting discussion that details the importance of strategy first, then creativity.  Reversing the two puts the cart before the horse, or you end up with the really creative tail wags the strategic dog.

Interesting that they maintain that when you’re pitching your campaign to the leadership team you’ve got to start with a strategic context, develop that first, then move to the excitingly creative elements.  What they write is that "the door to most businesspeople’s right brain is through their left brain.  First the smart, then the exciting (p. 96)."  For more on the right/left brain idea see Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind.

And then it gets even more interesting.  They further state that "the consumer…wants it just the other way around."  Why more interesting?  When we’re testing our creative ideas on our target their opinion will be based on the look and feel, the vibe, the way it strikes them.  REGARDLESS of whether it does what we’re trying to do!  Soooooooo…if we want to be sure our idea gets our brand moving in the right direction we’ve got to do the hard work of defining the strategy first and then letting those findings define our creative direction.  For more on this idea, take a look at the Seven Principles of Creative Leverage.

Smart vs. Exciting