My friend and sometimes co-conspirator Will Burns had a great post in Forbes this week arguing that brands too often kill a great advertising idea because it isn’t “ownable.” Brands often reject great positions, taglines and ad campaigns with the reasoning that their competition could make the same claim.
My 35 years in the business tells me that reaction occurs for one of three reasons.Someone took a too-traditional marketing course in grad school.Someone forgot that communication and creativity have the power to make an idea ownable.Deep down someone knows that they can’t actually live up to the idea.
Which leads me to a point more important than whether or not a driving brand idea is ownable. But rather can the brand prove its right to use and own an idea? Can it deliver on the promise? Is it expressing a belief that is genuine?