Tuesday, 7 June 2011

B is for brand mentions

A little obvious, this one, but over-use of brand mentions in press releases, tweets, interviews, etc, is never a good thing. Far better to make your brand the essence of the story. A few thoughts on this:

The survey industry that has grown up over the last decade (spurious stories based on research) is a direct result of a frantic chase to get a brand mention in papers on on the TV. The trouble is (a) that this is really an irrelevance for big brands (which don't need the mentions as much) and (b) the tortuous lengths that some agencies go to to get a brand mention take the storytelling miles away for anything approaching strategic relevance for the client.

For example, I saw a story a few years ago along the lines of "76% of us see Terry Wogan as the nation's favourite uncle says XYZ building society". How this advances the cause of XYZ building society defies belief, unless it catalyses an agency review.

Another big mistake with brand mentions comes when an inexperienced interviewee goes on the radio or TV to plug something. One contextual mention is OK, or maybe two, but I have heard people use their brand as a verb, rattling it off three times in a sentence. This is a bad thing. The viewer / listener hates it, the interviewer gets frustrated and the interviewee enters the "never again" database of the broadcaster.

No, the best approach with brand mentions is to construct a strong story which has your brand at the heart of it. By doing so, you make it impossible for journalists to avoid referencing your brand and you create a real sense of depth and relevance to the storytelling. It isn't that hard to do - it just takes a bit of imagination.

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