Behavioral Economics and chicken soup

13 Jun

One of the many things that made an impression on me in Tim Williams’ presentation to the T-CAAN group in Sault Ste. Marie this week was how agencies need to make the shift in thinking from how advertising works to how consumers work. He referred to this as behavioral economics.

Traditionally we look at a problem through the lens of our existing tools: we solve a marketing problem by applying ideas to traditional media channels. In many ways, we start with media.

A radio campaign. A TV ad. A digital strategy. A direct mail piece. We fit them into an overall budget picture which we rationalize around average response rates. We project success around these metrics.

Essentially, we do what we know.

The problem with this picture is that we are an ideas business. We are a provider of creative solutions. And yet at the outset, we are neither.

How can we do things differently?

How does an agency convince mothers that chicken soup is good for colds and flu? Do we do an ad campaign? Clever commercial? Funny posters? That sounds like a good media spend.

Or do we suggest to Campbell’s that they move their soup to a new aisle in retail environments?

Which solution is most likely to give the client the desired response and the agency the successful case study?


4 Responses to “Behavioral Economics and chicken soup”

  1. Anonymous June 14, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    This is brillant and yet simple and easy to execute with little/no cost to the client. This is out-of-the-box thinking at its best.

  2. Chelsie Aichelberger June 14, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    “How the consumers work…” That makes me think of the story you told me about the advertisements on the roof to target air travelers. Thinking outside of the box definitely generates the best results.

    Great Post!

  3. Andrea M June 14, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Hi Doug,

    Great post! Just happened to watch some dynamic videos about behavioral economics yesterday. They are a good watch. Enjoy


  4. dougbrowncreative June 14, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    > Anonymous, great to hear from you again. The gem in your comment is the cost/value equation. No cost to client but huge value.

    > Thanks for the comment Chelsie. Every now and then you see – or better yet, produce – an idea which gets you excited about what you do for a living. Something this powerful and simple is impossible to forget.

    > Just watched the vids Andrea, thanks for sharing them. He takes a good swing at Tiger doesn’t he!

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