Creating Sparks Instead of a Big Forest Fire

Brands still need a strong identity to pull it all together

Agencies should think of branding as a series of brush fires rather than one big forest fire, according to The Martin Agency’s Danny Robinson.

Robinson, one of five creative leaders in a broader discussion about innovation today, cited his shop’s work for Geico as an example: the stone-faced question guy, a gecko, and now some guinea pigs who can row. Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s multi-pronged attack for Burger King also springs to mind.

Here’s the catch, though: A brand still needs a strong positioning to pull the bits and bobs of work together. “You still need a brand narrative,” said Mark D’Arcy, director of global creative solutions at Facebook. “Otherwise, it’s just going to be shotgun” advertising.

Another takeaway from the discussion? Not every brand should be on Facebook, or as Taxi’s Dave Clemans more colorfully put it, most consumers “don’t have time to have a relationship with your orange juice.”

What’s more, brands that land on Facebook better offer something entertaining, useful or both, panelists said. Otherwise, it’s like inviting people to a party without any chips or beer. Not much fun, right?