Integrated advertising is nothing new

My old boss – who created many classic integrated campaigns – used to say “great ideas go everywhere and bad ideas go nowhere”. And that’s what integration means. Big ideas have life to them. They have energy. and because they have life and energy they effortlessly seep onto every platform and into all media. and ideally into real life and the public consciousness as well.

bad ideas don’t have any life. so you have to pay a lot of money to force them in front of people. who then ignore them and don’t react in any way really to the ideas. because there was never anything to react to to begin with.

If you read the advertising and marketing press these days you might think “integrated” is something new. there’s now an “Integrated” Cannes grand prix. which seems redundant. also, there seems to be some confusion that integration is somehow connected to the internet in some vague way. and it isn’t.

integration simply means that your idea easily and effortlessly migrates to all media. the best test of a big idea is the ease with which other people can build on your idea. it’s literally inspiring in some way.

in the 1980s, UK ad agency BBH created a campaign for Levis that made a huge dent in the culture. It featured cinematic commercials backed by old American R&B tracks from the 1960s. The commercials were so successful that all the songs were re-released and immediately went to number one on the music charts. And there on the packaging of the singles was a Levis logo. Now that’s integration! That’s the ideal.

We had a similar thing happen in our career. At the height of the whassup! thing there were two singles in the UK pop charts in december of 2000 that used the sounds of our commercials as the basis for, ahem, music. hey, it made the charts. have any of your ads pierced the UK singles charts?

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