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My friend and sometimes co-conspirator Will Burns had a great post in Forbes this week arguing that brands too often kill a great advertising idea because it isn’t “ownable.” And this is true. Brands often reject great positions, taglines and ad campaigns with the reasoning that their competition could make the same claim.
My 35 years in the business tells me that reaction occurs for one of three reasons.
Which leads me to a point more important than whether or not a driving brand idea is ownable. But rather can the brand prove its right to use and own an idea? Can it deliver on the promise? Is it expressing a belief that is genuine?
I’m Edward Boches, Professor of the Practice of Advertising at Boston University’s College of Communications where I teach advertising creativity with an emphasis on emerging and digital media. I am also the part-time Chief Innovation Officer (formerly Chief Creative Officer and Chief Social Media Officer) at Mullen, an Ad Age A-List agency I’ve helped build and lead for nearly 30 years.
I consider it my job to constantly hack the system in an effort to inspire change and get people to embrace the new technologies, platforms and consumer behaviors necessary to create cool and relevant ideas for clients and users.
Oh yeah, I'm also a copywriter, dad, husband, road cyclist and a board member at Boulder Digital Works and also at Spring Partners, the people who invented the cool Springpad app.