My first “real” big advertising job after 10 years at my dad’s shop Poppe Tyson was with McCann-Erickson, NY. The first assignment was on an AT&T network management service called Accumaster. The budget was 2-3 million. Poppe Tyson’s biggest account when I left may have been one million. I went to AT&T in Bridgewater, NJ for the briefing and took lots of notes. My next step was to make a recommendation as to how to handle the campaign. Stoked. My boss at the time was Eric Keshin, a 30-something on fast track to head the NY office.
“I think we need to do a series of 9 ads,” I suggested. “There are 9 key things that this product does well and it will tell a nice long term story. A story with lots of chapters.” Eric responded after quickly reading my notes and recommendation was “Three ads. There are three functional groups here which we can hammer home over time.” BAM.
Eric understood the natural order of selling. He got frequency. He got the consumer attention span. But it wasn’t just the three thing, it was a natural order thing.
Natural order is what brand strategy is all about. It’s why my brand strategies are “1 claim and 3 proof planks.” I create an organizing principle combining what customers most care-about and what the brand it good-at. Natural ordering is a skill. It takes experience, instinct, a good ear and selflessness.