Daughter: Your favorite motto?
Karl Marx: Doubt everything!
The message Marx wanted to tell his daughters: you should learn to listen not just by your open mind but your wise head.
He didn’t encourage his daughters to become suspicious people. He wanted his daughters to “doubt”positively. Karl Marx indirectly talked about critical thinking in information reception process.
Critical thinking helps us establish a proper and objective attitude in every discussion, argument or judgment.
Message is important but desired response is even more important. And “desired message” cannot be created by messages only. That is the reason why Martin believes that “Being Interesting Might Be More Important Than Being Different” (according to “Planning for the how” article by Ho Cong Hoai Phuong).
I like his opinion in this article: The first aim of advertising is to make people like it, then to make them understand it. It’s a failure if an ads can not “wow” its audience. Despite that how meaningful your message is, audience will not remember if they do not wow. As a result, awarded ads are often those which have “great creative concept” instead of “great message”?
On the other hand, marketers should also bear in their minds that a “wow” ads is not enough. In the article above, the author didn’t mean that an ads just need to be “good” without any “message”.
Creativeness plays a very important role in media. However, creativeness is a tool to convey the message. A creative ads only serves one part (though very important) of the communications: the attraction while the second part plays the same important role: what does the ads talk about the brand? After the ads, the next step of the audience is: search about the brand on the Internet, go to the supermarket to buy it, or at least keep a certain brand association in their minds. Or they watch an interesting ads and that’s all.
It is “desired response” that great advertisers need to pursue. In addition to “make people like”, advertisers also need to “make people understand”. In fact, there are many awarded ads that fail to serve the branding and sales purposes. In that case, David Ogilvy’s quote increasingly becomes valuable: If it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative.
In Vietnam, which ads make you remember? Heineken’s humorous ads series, Beeline’s Big Zero, Saigon Special’s impressive tagline “Even you are not high, people have to look up on you” or Bitis’ “Care for Vietnamese foot”. Regarding print ads, Fedex can be a great example. All their ads are “likable” (creative advertising concept) and “understandable” (emphasize their POD of speed).
These ads make people remember them and their PODs.
Another example about the role of critical thinking.
“Business does not mean that you have to indulge your clients” – Steve Jobs.
Jobs meant that creative products should not run behind clients but lead client’s taste. Should other brands imitate Apple: no market research, no client insight analysis, close the door to create break-though product and succeed.
Greek philosopher Socrates mentioned critical thinking. “Critical” does not mean skeptical or negative attitude but a multi-dimensional approach to find the objective to any phenomenon. In contrast, prejudice and conservativeness are the enemy of critical thinking.
Marketing requires lots of creativeness, marketers; therefore, need to doubt everything.
Of course, it bases on a certain knowledge and experience foundation.
Nguyen Duc Son
Richard Moore Associates