Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic protein produced by a bacterium. Infection with this bacterium can result in a fatal disease called botulism. What we might call an old school type of disease.
Don’t look up the symptoms for this if you’ve been working on a big pitch this week.
The toxin is also produced commercially, one form you may know as Botox.
A bad thing, rethought, re-engineered, repositioned, renamed, repackaged, branded and marketed becomes a good thing.
If botulism can be made sexy, then why can’t we sort out insurance, banking, finance, air travel?
There is talk about taking risks or being risky. Mainly in advertising. Also other disciplines like branding or marketing. Quantitive based or measured work.
We are talking adverts. On the telly.
Botox isn’t on the telly though. Yet. Not on the channels I watch anyway.
It works by word of mouth and the clinics that provide it. It has an air of exclusivity yet everyone knows about it. And most can afford it. A bit like Marks & Sparks back in the day.
Any advertising agency, however risky or smart, will never be able to do anything more than improve the metrics on a business. That’s what the client wants.
I think the new risk in agencies is saying “Bollocks to that” and making a difference with what brands do. Not just how they look or sound. More than memorability. Where they can change the game.
I’m not talking about every FMCG tin of beans. More if VW had done that properly the first time.
What if we thought about stuff before it even got into the brief for an ad?
How about Cigarette packaging done properly. How about giving up smoking done properly. Have our cakes and eat them too. Why not?
A democracy. Why don’t we have the anti-smokers use positioning. What are they instead of, not just not doing something? Could you use humour? If we’re not embarrassed to buy condoms and sex toys then why are we not embarrassed that we are killing ourselves?
Why don’t we have warnings on credit cards? “You need to pay this back”.
Contactless isn’t contactless. So not everyone knows how to use it. Sort it out.
Car insurance sucks. We still get charged for the same amount we paid for the car, if we’ve still got it three years later. Premiums go up. If you’re unlucky to have your pride and joy stolen – well, put it this way you’ll change your view. The only way to save money is change provider. Everyone preys on your inertia.
Banking sucks. Airlines suck. Guess what, business people don’t tend to pay for themselves, the basic lot do. Who do you think will be your best advocates?
Charities and government is a mess. Emergency services advertising on police cars, ambulances and fire engines.
Yet, we can advertise Orange Tango and get the entire country talking about it. Rightly or wrongly. Even though that was back in 1992.
If the client’s got the proverbial balls then being risky is devilishly fun.
Being different makes sense when it is a natural output of genius.
Opposition or difference for positioning’s sake is kinda stupid.
No-one is putting their hand in blender right now. Being ‘first to market’ with that one probably wont pay off.
It’s well over 10 years since 118 118 made you remember something you didn’t know you cared about (the new number for 192). That was just an advert.
Imagine what we could do if applied our collective thinking towards something worthwhile.
It’s 40 years ago since the daring Sex Pistols were on TV, swearing. Risky.
Now Johnny Rotten’s TV appearances are for dairy products.
Is that risky or a load of …? never mind.