Integrated Marketing and Flamenco?

flamenco dancerIntegrated Marketing and Flamenco… Where’s the connection?

Contrary to most people’s impressions, Flamenco is not just a guitarist playing staccato arpeggios, to which a dancer twirls, clappers clap and some chap in the corner wails with wounded ferocity as though impaled… in an unrecognisable language. In fact. It is the dancer that leads the song and the guitarist who accompanies her not the other way around, it is a spur of the moment collaboration among all the performers. The synergy that can result is known as “Duende”

Duende is difficult to define but is perhaps best summed up by Federico Garcia Lorca’s statement below.

“The Duende’s arrival always means a radical change in forms. It brings to old planes unknown feelings of freshness, with the quality of something newly created, like a miracle, and it produces an almost religious enthusiasm.”

Interesting but what’s this got to do with marketing? You ask.

Anyone who has ever worked in an integrated or full service agency or attended a brainstorming session at one, will understand the similarities.

In the heat of debate and in the midst of far-fetched ideas, illogical assumptions and fervent enthusiasm, there is a moment… a confluence of energy, a split second where the ideas from all the participants converge, gel and ignite,  part ritual, part magic…A campaign is born.

Along the way this creative energy gathers momentum and works it’s magic on the folks in  strategic planning, media planning, in the studio, in the promotional department, in new media. It inspires the collateral design, the out of home ads, the events and in store promotions…it’s carried through into radio and on-line, uncovering and recognising new opportunities as it rolls onward. It even lights up the receptionist and the book-keeper. When it arrives at the consumer? It’s; shiny new, exciting, fresh, inspiring, compelling and very much larger than life.

It is this process that has brought the world the great and memorable advertising campaigns. The ones that have launched brands and propelled them to Super Stardom,  the ones that have spun household words around those brands and gained them unimpeachable leadership positions.

This is Duende..this is the excitement of integrated marketing, well, the promotional side of it at least.

It’s hard to imagine how this might happen when the Strategic Planner is a world-class freelance chap in Chicago. The Creative Director is a freelancer in New York, the Illustrator is one in Montreal and the photographer is… Yup! you guessed it, a free lancer in London. All collaborating over their cell phones, emails and online with the Agency of Record copywriter, located in San Francisco. The Below The Line agency in Orlando is doing the same thing… pouring over dummies and scamps, working on in store displays…talking to San Francisco and London….

Oh, They’ll produce good advertising for sure… just not GREAT advertising.

No-no-no… for Duende you must all be present together, all under one roof, all making wonderful advertising together…up to your elbows in it!

What’s the bottom line for the Advertiser?

The old adage that goes “I know 50% of my advertising works and 50% doesn’t…I just don’t know which 50% is which!” is probably as true today as it was when it was first coined. In spite of better metrics, better research and more efficient ways to segment markets or measure returns on advertising dollars spent.

In today’s markets we need GREAT advertising as much as we ever did…if not more… and we need it to converge in a critical mass across all media.

If I was an advertiser today…I know where I’d be looking to spend my advertising budget.

OK. All together now, in the key of E minor…pinch your noses.. Aiiieeeee…. ah… oooooohhan…. yyyeeee!

Xross that Line.

Cheers Steven.

Photo Credit: Miriam Phillips;…/images/flamenco.jpg

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