It’s a little bit of a buzz word, but when I heard about Colin Drummond from CP+B talking about CONVERSUASION at Ad Lounge in Toronto, my ears pricked up. Lets be real, conversuasion may sound a little like adwank, but stripped back I believe it’s about how you turn conversations you create in culture into meaninful brand engagement and action. When asked what his point of view was on ‘conversuasion’, his point of view was very much around ‘creating culture’ to spark conversations amongst social networks that then lead to persuasion or action. In quite a few of my Red Bull posts I talk alot about brands needing to create culture and engage with ongoing conversations around interesting cultural objects. His logic was based on Crispin’s strategic way of working and this way of working is behind all their most successful ideas ‘Whopper Sacrifice’, ‘Whopper Freakout’ etc. So it goes like this:
– Culture are the millions of rules that we all live by, those rules must be challenged to open up a CONVERSUASION with people.
– Challenging existing rules leads to tensions and when you make people tense it moves them to decision outside their normal experience..and gets them talking
– If you want to change rules, you have to challenge culture by finding and exploiting cultural tensions that exist.
– To get people talking, your brand has to pick a side and stand by it
In my view, this thinking is the reason why Crispin comes up with some culturally relevant and subversive ideas as they constantly challenge defined cultural rules, whereas most brands just challenge category rules which don’t get people talking. It’s reflected in their creative brief which I wrote about earlier this year here.
My point of view on CONVERSUASION is that great brands resolve cultural tensions, sparking conversations, but it’s all about creating tribal ideas, ideas that people are inspired to rapidly mobilise around. Another dimension is collaborative creativiety, in that brands need to be far more open source in their ideas, and let the community help shape the outcomes of those ideas in real time. Conversuasion is not about beginning and ends of campaigns, they are either about digital platforms that deliver amazing utility eg: Nike + Football or they are about the community shaping the outcome of the ideas in ongoing narratives. It’s also thinking about how you continually experiment with popular culture.
Creating culture is what more brands need to do and was great to hear Colin share his viewpoints and it’s clear why CP+B are leading the way with culturally subversive idea that typically always start conversations.