Apple, Dove Master Integration

NEW YORK Apple, Dove, HSBC, Target Stores and ABC’s drama Lost are “getting it right” in terms of successfully integrating their marketing messages across the complex media landscape.

So said agency and client executives Monday at the Future Marketing Summit here, during a panel session called “Reality Check.” Adweek co-sponsors the event.

For its “smart, clever values and the consumer experience of the brand that it provides,” DDB chief partnership officer Paul Price called Apple, “the poster child for getting it totally right.”

Coca-Cola CMO Esther Lee praised Dove for its communications that take a cultural point of view about “the changing standard of beauty” for women. The debate has become bigger than the brand, while still reinforcing its primary message, she said.

Euro RSCG’s chief strategy officer Andrew Benett admired Target’s strategy of design integration because it is “transferable to [all] its communications,” he said.

HSBC’s outdoor advertising, which depicts different views of the same subject, “draws a line and stands for something,” said Collin Drummond of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. The contradictions and tensions present in that effort will spur more user-generated ideas, he said.

Alex Wipperfurth, who founded Plan-B, said Lost got the “sequencing” of its integration down pat.

“Hollywood does a wonderful job of creating anticipation of an experience,” Price added.

Responses differed when moderator Dave Nottoli of the Open Intelligence Agency asked panelists to describe their ideal of integrated communications.

Some even called the concept “old school,” since it has evolved wildly in the last few years.

“If it all looked alike, it was considered integrated,” said Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT. “That’s an idea that is now considered very old school. It doesn’t all need to look the same. There must be integration in the brand storytelling.”

As an example, Mack offered JWT’s “Bold moves” campaign for Ford. Its TV centerpiece—CEO testimonials—differs from the online documentary portion of the campaign in which consumers post comments, positive or negative, on the company’s turnaround efforts.

“Integration is actually a terrible word,” said Lee. “At Coke, integration is everybody’s job. It’s about having a point of view and being in a cultural space the brand is trying to own.”

Modernista! planning chief Gareth Kay defined integration as a marketing mix that creates “something greater than the sum of its parts” through a consistent message.