The Benefits of Specificity

When we first look at ideas for new campaigns, we look at them in simple statement form. No scripts (even if TVCs are a big part of the media mix), no layouts, no prototypes, and certainly no "here's a little something a production company and I threw together."  Just a description.

And one of the things we look for in those descriptions is specificity. Something that's ownable. (We define it as, "It's not ownable unless it's Google-able.")

A perfect example: Axe's Susan Glenn campaign.

The TVC was wonderfully done and broke months ago.

But by having specificity to the idea – by giving a name to that girl you could never have the cajones to approach – the idea became truly ownable. 

Using the name Susan Glenn gave the campaign a rallying cry ("fear no Susan Glenn"). But it also created a meme about a subject people are often talking about – as shown in tweets, gifsblogs, etc.

As for Axe, it has the usual Facebook-powered customizable microsite. And it's recently refreshed the campaign with a mini-series on YouTube.

Of course, being specific also has its downside. Especially if you're Susan Glenn, the grant and proposal writer from Huntsville, Alabama who's now getting the kind of attention once reserved for people with the phone number 867-5309. According to Real Susan's resume, she works independently, is self-motivated, and has "the ability to understand complex materials."

All impressive qualities, to be sure. But they're no pyrotechnics coming out of her back.

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