Make marketing like the news, urges Saatchis' head of planning

Wise: 'The news itself is so compelling that the marketing suffers by comparison'
Wise: 'The news itself is so compelling that the marketing suffers by comparison'

Brands can produce striking creative by making marketing a bit more like the news, according to Saatchi & Saatchi London's head of planning Sam Wise.

Newspaper advertising trade body Newsworks invited Wise to offer an ‘outsider’ view to the audience of mainly media people at its annual Shift conference yesterday.

Wise talked about how advertising is in competition with the news it appears around, saying: "People are making choices all the time when they’re reading news. Unless you’re really old or you’re in jail you’re not reading cover-to-cover. The news itself is so compelling that the marketing suffers by comparison."

He listed the reasons that newsbrand content is so compelling as unparalleled societal relevance, honed storytelling and craft skills, insane levels of ingrained trust and unique ability to sniff out the industry.

Wise went on to run through tactics that some news outlets and/or advertisers have adopted to make marketing "more like the news".

Taking advantage of the news itself, such as Oreo’s eclipse cover wrap on The Sun and Piccadilly Circus creative, was one way.

Selling skills, not just space, was another. Wise cited the sponsored content that The Guardian has produced in association with brands such as Saatchi & Saatchi client EE. The Guardian’s user-created content strand Guardian Witness was supported by EE because it was looking to establish the superiority of its 4G technology to 3G in spreading images and video.

Wise also said he liked to see brands tying up with news organisations for long-term brand building projects that reflect their long-term relationships with customers, praising Jack Daniel’s partnership with Vice around barbecue culture.

Lastly, he showed how brands could have the same "nose for the interesting" as newsbrands, with a case study about Vodafone staging a multi-sensory fireworks display.

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