For brands to create change, they need to do it through art

Change is uniquely similar to creating consensus. In that, both are propagated via propaganda. In other words, there needs to be art, in order to create change in consumer preferences or even social change in general for NGOs to expand their wings. They need to artfully showcase change, and what change can do. In terms of actual marketing, we are artists that are dying as a breed. We are simply making photo-realistic copies of existing paintings instead of making new ones.

For example,

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The Apple Mothership (I think its overpriced, but if everyone around me had an Apple, i’d probably buy one too). Apple’s always pushed the envelop and people appreciate it. Now take Google. People hate Google Glass. Imagine if Apple had launched Apple Glass. It would have been a massive hit! Just like the finger-print recognition. Finger-print recognition is extremely scary, but people are cool with it. Apple has always been about “thinking different” and “innovation”, so people will keep buying whatever Apple pushes out. Consumer behavior is stunningly changed by the advent of the letter “i”. If everywhere around me is the eco-system of iWatch, iPhone, iPad, then hell yeah – I wanna buy an Apple Glass!

Now, think about how much of an impact movies have. Movies move cultures. In India, a Hindi movie called “Taare Zameen Par” about a special-needs boy sparked debates across the country and eased off the stress associated with raising kids. It works. Art changes people. French society has evolved much faster than the rest, and it shows in their art and movies. Our ancient ancestors were more open about subjects like sex and violence then we are. Art moves things. Then why can’t art move marketing?

Think about marketing for a second. Its about expression. Ads, commercials, posts – they’re all expressions of a company and what it stands for. If a company is young (vice, snapchat, bleacher report) they would talk about things relevant to young folks. Like a salesperson but without a person. The ad pitches you a product and you buy it. That’s all marketing is – expression. But you can express something in an artful way – which beats the noise. Now that’s marketing.

You wanna change the world? Do it with artful marketing. Need to redesign the way you look at your NGO? – Design a few creatives that showcase a better world and why you wanna change the current system. Do it with art, flair and style. Every company has its own style.

Example –

If Coca Cola wants to push more liquid sugar drinks and give more children diabetes, then it would have to express itself as a brand that is concerned around happiness. But happiness is all about inclusion. Therefore, crafting an ad around changing consumer desires and community-like feelings will drive the happiness bandwagon.

Now, if Samsung wants to truly express itself, it needs to think beyond “sales” and “profit”. This 10th century mentality is corrosive and you can’t sell a product to a consumer around this proposition. The phones aren’t built for style or design, and neither do they perform better than others. They’re junky phones that have other junkie brands following suite (Micromax, Xiomi, HTC, etc). Crap producing crap. Now, what Samsung really needs to do is to find a few “unique” traits of a brand that creates consumer joy. Imagine a world where Samsung actively pushes the Design bandwagon. It would beat Apple down with a stick. Competing solely on design and imagining a world where customization and personalization is the norm, and not the extreme. Apple tried this and failed. So did Nokia. Wanna know why? Because it didn’t go with their positioning. Apple’s positioning is innovation. (NOT DESIGN). Nokia’s positioning is price (NOT DESIGN). Ask a few people in the room next to you, about what they say when they hear the word Samsung.