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Borrowed Interest and The Oscars

posted on: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

When I was in the ad agency business and ran a piece of P&G business years ago, the P&G guys coined the term “borrowed interest.”  P&G used the term when an ad agency tried to sell them a TV commercial where the “drama” of the ad was only loosely connected to the benefit of the product.  P&G was probably right to object, but It made the creative folks work hard to find interesting and novel new story lines that always put Tide or Crest at the center of the action.  I can’t tell you how many seemingly interesting ideas died a fast death in Cincinnati boardrooms because they failed to make the product the hero. 

If you look at the how brands are trying to use social media today, it makes me think that my old buddies at P&G would still be throwing out the “borrowed interest” flag. Here is an interesting take from Jay Baer on how companies tried, mostly in vain, to tie their brands into the Oscars by using Twitter in real time.  Clearly, we’re still in the very early innings of learning how to meaningfully engage customers with social media. 

Mostly Failed Oscar Tweets

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