Today, the best creativity and brands don’t just think and act differently, as one of the original Shared Beliefs stated, but reflect and celebrate cultural differences. Because to matter to someone, you must show that you really know them.
Advertising needs to portray people’s lives with an honesty that perhaps wasn’t such an imperative in the past. Consumers don’t buy the aspirational dream in the way they used to, nor do they accept old-fashioned stereotypes. The balance has shifted. People want you to come to them, which means the realities of our target audiences are more important than ever.
If creative ideas are to forge a closer bond with consumers, then we need to try harder and get more real, up close and personal. If anything, advertising can help make people feel as though they belong because we recognise, through content, values which we ourselves adhere to.
So it’s vital we get out there and seek more authentic stories that enable us to hold up a mirror to people’s real lives, to understand their identities and tribes more completely. To escape the product-centric worlds we live in and paint a more holistic picture of cultural need-states.
There are two key ways of celebrating such difference. First, ensure that the creative talent in teams is multi-dimensional in terms of sex, ethnicity, age and background. And, second, produce advertising that seeks to appeal to and connect with the realities of a diverse audience, avoiding cliché.
Society has taken giant strides in past years to correct past mistakes, providing more equal opportunities. Those advances inspire creativity because diversity of thought is the rocket-fuel it needs. That gets us closer to more truthfully reflecting real people’s lives and dreams through the brand story. In advertising, difference is worth celebrating.