“Use the product, blend in the essence of this special day, and attempt to make it go viral”.
As marketers, we’ve all been through those times of the year when we’re bombarded with briefs along the above lines. Irrespective of the industry, the product/service, and the brand tonality, the need remains the same. The result then ends up looking like the following:
With every content we create, our aim is to be innovative, creative, and recognisable. However, when it comes to creating content around a theme or topic that is perceived in the same way by ‘most everyone, ending up with similar creation is unavoidable. Does that make us idea-thieves? Indeed copying someone else’s work is theft, but taking inspiration from another’s designs is not wrong.
There’s a thin line between referencing and replicating, and the line is maintained when creators sustain brand tonality, values, and identity despite the base idea being derived. While this differentiation is possible among brands in differing industries, how do brands within the same industry draw the line? For instance, what more do automobile brands have to play with other than the vehicle’s body when creating a festive post? In such a case, they have to focus on the brand’s voice and image to keep the uniqueness of the creative despite it being similar to another creative, just as attempted by the brands shown below-
With the abundance of references and creations, marketers today have very little scope of being original. However, that’s not completely impossible. Some of the key tricks applied by brands who have successfully stood out in the market despite being one amongst many are-
Holding on to the brand’s creative vision
Adding a consistent unique touch to brand recognition
Looking at ideas from various angles
Keeping up with the societal practices
Embracing empathy, sensitivity, and thoughtfulness
Although inspiration is an open space, for innovation to grow here is not impossible. It depends on your outlook, the limits that you’re willing to go to stand out, and the lens you choose to look at an idea through. You’ve seen various examples of re-creation, replication, and renovation of ideas as marketers. Which of the three you pick and how you treat it is what contributes to your brand’s reputation. The brief “Use the product, blend in the essence of this special day, and attempt to make it go viral” is inevitably monotonous, but the results being outstanding and exceptional is a possibility. Probably start by deciding whether you’d like to inside or outside the box. That’s where we begin!