Chris Brogan, a leading voice in social media has this advice for brands: "Be Helpful, Be Consistent, Be Everywhere". Good advice, and of the three consistency may be the most difficult to achieve. Many great brands have become distracted by the latest shiny idea. In fact, it is often said that brand managers tire of an idea faster than consumers.
This article by from a blog by brand agency, Storm, chides LG for straying from its core brand message:
At the end of a long hard day have you ever sat back and dreamt of escaping the constraints of modern life? I know I have. It’s what makes all the sea change programs and stories so appealing. So when recently I found myself watching a TV ad that set out to appeal to exactly that sentiment, I was intrigued. It was long at 60 seconds, but was well produced with stunning imagery.
The ad began by showing a baby swimming, this is the freedom we are all born with.
Then the images became grey and hum drum. This is the reality of our lives. The baby is soon behind the bars of a cot, a man is just one of dozens sitting in identical work stations in an open office, miserable commuters are standing on a packed train etc. You get the picture.
But wait, there is hope. The mood of the ad lifted. Imagine a world without borders, a world where you can cycle off to the horizon down a sunny country lane, flowers bloom, a girl laughs as she is soaked by a hose, a man dives into an azure blue ocean… I get ready for the punchline, it’s got to be Queensland, or New Zealand or at the very least a brand who will offer me the secret to a wonderful, rich and carefree life.
Roll end frame and the big reveal – it’s LG and it’s an ad for a TV.
Sure it’s a really nice TV, from a really good company. In fact it’s a borderless TV, the latest innovation from a company renowned for it. The ad signs off with ‘Life’s Good’ so there is a connection to the LG brand there. But for me this is a case of an advertiser getting carried away by a big budget, feel-good ad concept and loosing sight of their strategically-driven brand strategy in all the excitement.
But the thing is LG has spent many years and many millions of dollars building equity around ‘Life’s Good’ by showing they’re innovative in everything they do and that the technology they deliver enhances the quality of the life you lead today. Their ads heavily feature LG technology in the home, busy improving the quality of life and demonstrating that ‘Life’s Good’ is more than just a punchline. The creation of their brand image has been consistent and I love LG and their products, I’ve been a great admirer of their ads, but for me this ad misses the mark. From the perspective of a brand building professional, there are few things more frustrating than seeing a brand that’s invested so much in building a unique market proposition and a strong brand image, distracted from their path by the glittering prize of a flash ad.
It is unquestionably a beautiful ad, is it the right move for LG? Take a look at the ad and tell me what you think.