Getting clients to take creative risks.

IMG-20141110-WA0006 (1)J. Michael Tasse, Leading a Discussion at the Tongji University Guest House Conference Room, Shanghai, China

Fernanda started off with a brief overview of what is marketing, advertising and what the article is about. Sometimes taking risks is imperative for an organization but sometimes it is not wise to take risks. The advertising agency has to be convinced about the need to take the risks and sometimes needs to convince its clients to take risks.

The Citi group’s billion dollar advertising campaign in the 1990s, the live richly campaign, was the first case study. The case study involved studying the various messages the Citigroup flooded cities like New York. The messages like ‘Your best time is not recorded on Timesheets’ started flooding the streets of New York and spread to more cities subsequently.

It ran from 2001 to 2006 and cost the Citigroup a billion dollars. People were persuaded to live richly and in turn buy equity loans. By appealing to people’s inner desires, family values, joy and happiness, focus was on the everyday role of money. People accepted the message and the bank loan applications went way up.

Another case in discussion was the case of cosmopolitan hotels. We also looked at a campaign of Absolut vodka, an alcohol company which actually started a campaign for the social good.

The focus group of the Citi was discussed. The term used was balance seekers. These are the people who wanted to live richly. Not who wanted to be rich. Also, the group discussed the moral and the financial implications of the Citi bank advertising campaign (Subprime crises). Many people believed that the advertisers are not ultimately responsible for the subprime crises.

There was a consensus that the Citibank achieved it prime target of achieving Brand Differentiation.

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