Brand building isn’t dead but beautiful ads seem to be

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Writing in Forbes, Larry Light of brand consultancy Arcature concludes: “The focus on short-term, disposable viewership is an unfortunate byproduct of the digital age. Sustainable advertising campaigns designed to create and reinforce brand loyalty will be a thing of the past.”

He may be right and some would argue that they already are. Not that Light welcomes such a development – citing the brand-building benefits of Nike’s ‘Just do It’ or De Beers’ ‘Diamonds are Forever’ among others as examples of brand building campaigns that have demonstrably worked. But they came on the scene a long time ago.

So are there any campaigns around today seeking to emulate these winners – or agencies with the nous and skill to create them? Or clients, indeed, with the patience to look a few years down the line to achieve lasting results.

Ikea’s ‘the Wonderful Everyday’ should certainly be among those lauded long-running campaigns but it’s also interesting to see how the ads – these two from Mother – have changed over recent years. Here this year’s Christmas effort, perky, intrusive, surprising – as much digi era content feels it has to be.

And here’s ‘Beds’ from 2015, just four years ago but it could be a different world.

Maybe the last TV ad that could be accurately described as ‘beautiful.’

So brand building ain’t dead but maybe the things of beauty that brought tears to the eyes of creatives (and some clients) fairly recently are.

We’ll be keeping an eye open in 2020 for someone who can prove us wrong.

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