The next big ideas come from inspired people.
Where do you go for marketing inspiration?
Three-pointers, home runs, goals all bring a crowd to their feet because inspiration finds a natural home at sporting events. Athleticism stretches the bounds of the ordinary to become extraordinary, and it’s in those moments when humans can seem to attain Olympian status.
We saw this idea play out at the actual Olympics this summer in Rio with the performance of the women’s gymnastics team, including an amazing series of gold medal wins by Simone Biles. And building on his already astounding success was our hometown hero Michael Phelps, who extended his Olympics record by winning six more medals. Making her own mark was fellow swimmer Katie Ledecky with five. And when it comes to speed, Team USA’s Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin set fire to the track, earning all three medals in the 100-meter hurdles.
But while the Americans won more medals than any other country (121), watching other nation’s athletes — like Jamaica’s Usain Bolt — bolt ahead of any rival was inspiring in the purest sense of the word.
Getting a company’s brand to attain that level of inspiration may seem to require, well, an Olympian effort. But like any great athlete, a brand needs to have a dream, and then it needs practice – lots of work and practice – to get it into shape. It has to have the drive to be the best, and with focus it can soar.
Here’s a great example of just that kind of commercial that ran during the winter Olympics from P&G.
As you can see, to ultimately get to that higher place, the ad can’t only reach for the heads of its consumers, it also has to hit their hearts. And it can’t do that only with words (in fact, this spot barely has any); rather, the achievement is in the music and imagery.
And if you’re looking for a little inspiration to set you up for the 2016 Rio Paralympics, how about a mountain climber (ascending through ice and snow) who has no arms or legs? Nike found a unique, inspiring story and made it work for them. Have a look.
Now you may not have a story as amazing as this one, but notice that the ad is not really about the Nike product so much as it is about the attitude. Nike’s not selling sneakers; it’s inspiring each of us to find that “Just Do It” quality in ourselves. So go on, climb your mountain!