One thing I love about the One Show speaker sessions: they're only an hour long. And because the speakers want to show off their advertising, they have to be brief where actual talking is concerned.
Between ESPN and Nike plugs, Wieden+Kennedy's Kevin Proudfoot shared five guidelines for establishing intimacy with users. Intimacy, he imparted, is key to brand success.
1. Let the person know you're thinking of them. This is a touchy-feely way of saying you should consider the user experience before launching something. How can you make their lives easier or get them to laugh?
2. Talk directly to them. Don't address people from on high.
3. Enable and encourage them to be themselves. A brand or product should let people reflect themselves. Examples include iGoogle's customizable layout, customized Nikes, flickr, blogging, Facebook, Starbucks (Proudfoot says it conceived the notion you could be a "grande vanilla latte" if you wanted to).
4. Avoid schizophrenia. "This should really be 'multiple personality disorder,' but 'schizophrenia' looks better on a slide!" Proudfoot joked. Polite titters. The moment passes.
It's hard to be intimate with a brand that's all over the place, so commit to who you are and what you represent. Not to suggest a brand can't say many things. Proudfoot says to consider GEICO, which runs disparate campaigns with success, but only because those efforts are true to GEICO's core persona.
Think of everything that leaves your walls -- and even the things that don't -- as an opportunity to reinforce. "Every PR that goes out is an expression of the brand," said Proudfoot.
5. Encourage the other person to participate. For client Nike, W+K distributed little boxes of street chalk -- in "Lance Armstrong" yellow -- to Tour de France spectators. Users were encouraged to write encouraging messages to Lance all over the streets.
Proudfoot said this was a good way to incorporate Nike in the Tour de France without paying sponsorship dollars.
Because these tips were inspired by Dr. Phil, Proudfoot closed his session by making the audience repeat a statement out loud: "Every relationship needs a hero!"
I left with that awkward feeling you get when somebody you don't like "that way" tries getting all personal with you.