"What defines an effective brand today?"That's a question asked by Leo Burnett in a very self-important piece of self-promotion.
The answer, apparently, is spending a shitload of money to create one of the silliest, most pointless gimmicks in recent memory, shipping it to Cannes accompanied by a bunch of super-important-global-worldwide ad geniuses, holding a seminar about it and, of course, promoting it in social media with the obligatory Twitter feed, YouTube video and Facebook page.
For those of you poor slobs who didn't make it to Cannes this awards season, here's the gimmick.
Burnett created a whole set of big wooden alphabet blocks. They're each about the size of a nice toilet. The letter on each alphabet block stands for a "new building block of communication today."
So the wooden block that says "t" is for Twitter. And "f" is for Facebook. How awesomely cool is that? I guess it must have sounded super hip to a bunch of overfed C-Something-O's sitting around the board room on Wacker Drive.
"To truly connect with people, the world’s great brands are speaking a new language of communication...A "language of communication," huh? I'm just curious fellas. What other kind of language is there?
...a language which doesn’t just speak to consumers, but instead, speaks the language of people."Oh, the language of people! You see, before now brands were speaking the language of goats or fruit flies or something. But now, because of the web, we have to speak the damn language of people. So the Boys From Burnett are going to help us with this and also...
"...discuss their views on the brands which will lead the conversation of the 21st century."The conversation? Is that f*cking thing back? I thought that train ran out of steam two years ago.
Well, sadly it seems the new language of people is not creating much of a conversation. The Lads From Leo held their seminar last Wednesday. As I write this post on Sunday night, their Facebook page has 39 likes.
I got more likes than that writing about my hernia operation.
And I did it in the old language of English.