A few years ago, while working clientside for a big mobile phone company, we worked with an ad agency network called Lowe Worldwide. I loved working with a variety of different people from Lowe, especially those who listened to me. However there was one copywriter in particular who I repeatedly had to correct; he always seemed like he was talking about my brand with too much bravado and not enough humility.
Last week I stumbled across this ad from Verizon for its Droid phone line:
This lack of self-awareness made me feel bad for Verizon. Do they really think consumers think of them as a “powerhouse of communication”? Do their brand personality guidelines call for “cocky, aggressive and full of ourselves”? Then I thought about my copywriter from a few years back and I did a Google news search:
There’s a Greek proverb (it might be borrowed from the Turks) that says: Πες μου ποιός είναι ο φίλος σου, να σου πω ποιός είσαι. In other words, “Tell me who your friends are, and I can tell you who you are.”
It’s important that big brands brief their agencies clearly, especially about their own personality. It’s the hardest thing for an agency to learn, and if you’re not clear, a copywriter will just write in his/her (in this case his) comfort zone.