In the beginning there were cave drawings and smoke signals and a lot of bad communication about whose tribe had the sweetest rocks for trade. Then writing tools burst on the scene just as furry animal skin parkas were going out of style. Later on, newspapers and telephones put an end to hand cramps and quill injuries. Next, the TV made us all a little lazier and the future arrived as the computer was adopted in all its PowerPoint glory. Finally, the Internet was invented and the world got a little smaller and a whole lot weirder. Now, Social Media has taken us to a new, scary, boring and “way too much information” place.
Through all this, we’ve landed in a terrific era for advertising as our ever-changing communication tools have become faster, better, and more flexible than ever before. They open new avenues that allow us to get face-to-face with Joe Customer in ways we could only dream about a few years ago. But, there’s one thing that will never change about any of these tools. They’re all JUST tools and are completely useless without the king of all communication – THE BIG IDEA.
Now, as the world of green advertising grows and becomes more and more complicated, The “Big Idea” becomes more and more important. Green, sustainable and efficiency messages have to lean on real consumer understanding and creative ideas built on that understanding to be believable and to move the needle. If you lean on a tool only because “it’s totally hot right now” you’ll fall on your face. This goes double for green and sustainable communication because of the complexity of the message and a high chance of creating a negative reaction. Use one of these newfangled tools in the wrong way, with the wrong message, to the wrong people in this world and you might just get knocked right back to the Stone Age by your consumer. The delivery tool doesn’t matter, it’s the message that causes reaction. The tool you want to use is the one that will best deliver your message so that the consumer can understand and react to it.
So, shoot that TV spot, type that tweet or send that smoke signal, just make sure whatever tool you use has a Big Idea if you’d actually like to see results.