Have you seen the Luvs commercial where the little animated babies are having a pooping competition? The cartoon kids walk on stage in their Luvs diapers, turn around and let one go. Their Luv diapers expand accordingly and the other baby judges seated downstage hold up cards: 6, 7, 6. Finally the last kid really puts Luvs to the test and the judges respond with: 10, 10, 10!
Is this commercial shocking? Maybe compared to the typical “cute baby ads” of the diaper category. Is it funny? I challenge you not to laugh. Is it surprising? My mouth was agape watching it. Is it memorable? I just recounted the entire ad. Does it generate buzz? The proof is we’re talking about it.
But what is most important about the Luvs ad is it made my husband who runs the TV in our house to actually remove his finger from the FF button and watch this spot–not once but twice. He watched it, then he made me watch it. You can watch it here.
After I laughed, then said, “Ewww,” I thought FF isn’t just on our TVs. FF happens daily as we rush by plenty of things well worth noticing but that fail to engage us. We all live FF lives.
Branding can stop us in our FF tracks. Are you, your company and your brand doing anything to make people stop and notice you, not once but twice? Three times, four or more? Are people talking about you? That would be even better. You may say, “Well we don’t advertise on TV.” I’m not really talking about commercials here. I’m talking about taking the risk to make yourself stand out. Luvs sure did it, boldly and bravely. I’m sure they are getting some nasty comments online–that is to be expected when you break tradition and put yourself out there. It takes immense bravery to not be swayed by the few, even though they can sound quite loud. It’s impossible to be different and not get criticized.
A friend of mine told me, “No one ever erected a statue to a critic. If you walk through the park and look at the statues of heroes, you’ll notice they have been crapped on a lot.” Those heroes were risk takers and they took their lumps then as they are still taking the dirt now.
It’s never been more important to take risks than it is today if you want to get anywhere. Just sitting there, saying the safe thing and using safe stock images, stifling creativity, being too stodgy or patrician to find a relevant connection to popular culture, or just being too chicken to be different, you automatically lose. The reason is you haven’t forced us customers to slow down our FF lives and notice you. Do you have to wear a raw meat dress like Lady Gaga did a while back? Most likely in your world, no. In hers, yes.
Understand, most of us operate our businesses in an environment of blasé sameness. It isn’t hard to stand out. I’m not talking to the creative folks with this blog. I’m talking to the CEOs who are afraid of what their stockholders might think. Start moving that stock price up and they’ll get over it. I’m talking to the CMOs who don’t want to lose their jobs. Maybe the reason the average CMO lasts less than three years in any one post is because they are afraid of losing their jobs. I’m talking to the CFOs who can’t understand why different sometimes costs more money. To them I say, if being different was easy or cheap everyone would be doing it, and being really different would cost even more money, so count your blessings!
Take your finger off your FF button right now and watch the Luvs commercial. Let your jaw drop and then think about how you can in your business connect with some aspect of humanity, rather than just “promote your business.” That’s the power of Heart & Mind® Branding. If you can pull it off with diapers, believe me you can do it with anything.
What is branding? Heart & Mind Branding.