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Posted by Laurent François - @lilzeon at 9:35 - 0 Comments

If you're familiar with advertising agencies' way of life, you've already faced comprehensive guidelines, established by global brands.

Specs are precise, and it's still barely impossible to deny them. Even worse, if you don't respect them, your client can depreciate your fees…

But this ancient habit is more and more challenged by new rules. Brands as Innocent Drinks, which topped the 2012 Social Brands List, are progressively changing what guidelines are about.

It's all about the story of a mysterious new animal, called "Marrocodile": few days ago, Innocent posted on their Fan Page two photos.The first one presented Jonathan Walker who lifted a marrow; then Innocent shared the photo of a random crocodile. Few days later, one of their fans, Campbell MacFarlane, pointed out that the brand had created a marrow-crocodile hybrid.

Marrocodile 2

It could just be another entertaining story, but when we look at Innocent Fan Page, you realize that the brand itself is fond of this kind of funny mashup. For example, they've posted a photo of a cat in an Abercrombie & Fitch bag. 

Abercrombie cat

The results are impressive, as Innocent experienced a strong engagement rate; and the most important thing for a brand has been reached: Innocent was a topic of conversation in the real daily life of its target group.

These two examples demonstrate that Innocent implemented digital rituals with its community. And that the community itself is able to suggest new moments, new cultural milestones.

In their manifesto, "A Book About Innocent: Our Story and Some Things We've Learned", the brand explicitely summarizes some elements of its Creativity Marketing mix:

"Basically, if there's a new way in which our drinkers want to communicate with us, then we'll get involved".

An insight which is pretty similar to Geoff Cottrill's very famous "Do Nothing" approach in Social Media for Converse.

It's a fundamental move for a brand, which can be consolidated around three core ideas:

  • Consumers are now shareholders of brands reputations: the brand equity is also dependent on how these shareholders want to be engaged with all the territories that a brand pervades
  • Brand guidelines are no longer exclusive boundaries but an inclusive constitution: consumers' creativity must be empowered with rules which open the gates, not constraining rules
  • Creativity Marketing is about shared value; if your value lies in cats, crocodiles or other unfamiliar assets, it's not a bad news: it's called a pervasive culture.

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