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Correct? Or really strange?

When I tell students about real life in marketing, I often start by asking them the question: Should a campaign be correct and boring or should it be wrong and strange?

Admittedly, I have never seen a briefing in which the agency was asked to make a correct, but terribly interesting campaign. But if I had the choice, I would join the overwhelming student majority and vote for the second variant.

Correct, more correct, the most correct?


Why does so much of our work sail past our target group like a ship passing through the night fog? Because first and foremost it's correct. Demanded in the briefing, discussed in each headline syllable, and finally checked several times before, during and after with market research. Until it's not even "correct" anymore.

That simple fact also defines the problem. The result is correct. Not strange. Meaning it's not worth remembering. And therefore ineffective. Advertising that goes unnoticed. Even though it's so correct.

Being extreme gets left behind


Statistics say that we're exposed to more than 1000 advertising messages on a daily basis. Through outdoor advertising, TV, radio, social media, etc. Sent from brands, brand ambassadors and throngs of influencers. In any case, far too much to remember everything.

Try to think of the brand stories you noticed yesterday. You'll probably think of one really good one. And a really bad one. So extreme stories. Because it's extremely interesting. Because obviously the extreme use of the "correct" abrasive paper has been spared.

Visibility – the first door to the hearts and minds of our target audiences – is not about being right. But interesting. Who do you prefer to listen to in a bar in the evening? To the guy who is always right? Or the guy who always tells the most interesting stories? Jean Genet, the French poet, said: "The most interesting thing is the inside of outsiders."

Being right is overrated


We think that "correct" is true. But the truth is what we believe in and we only believe in what we want to believe. But that's usually what we find interesting.

Don't get me wrong. That's not an encouragement to lie. Because the way out of the correct case is not lies. But to be strange. Extremely strange. Telling stories that are worth remembering. The old phrase of Mark Twain sums it up: "Never ruin a good story with the truth!"

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Hubertus von Lobenstein Managing Partner

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10117 Berlin
Email: H.vonLobenstein@saint-elmos.com