I was reading Eris'
blog today and read the coolest quote. She quoted The Logo Design Workbook,
which says, "A logo is not a brand, unless it's on a cow."
That is one of those "duh" statements that just makes everything make sense. In advertising and marketing, the goal is always to make a brand--get people to have a gut response to your product, each and every time they see it. Hopefully, that gut response is a positive one. A logo can never be a brand, but it can represent one and illicit that great moment that takes the customer back to a time in the past where they experienced the product. You see that logo and BAM! you are hit with the smells and feelings that you first had as a child or as a teen or as an adult sitting on your couch last month...so long as the product has formed a brand. The relationship between a brand and a logo is complex and yet so simple. A logo initiates a response that helps to create and reinforce a brand, but a brand can never be or create a logo. They work in tandem, yet they never quite touch. These are the things about advertising and marketing that intrigue me so much.
In college we had both Advertising and Marketing departments, and they were in separate schools--Communications and Business, respectively. This is because they are two separate aspects of the process. But the concept takes time to understand. People who aren't yet aware of the difference between the two--that fine line--have a tendency to use them interchangeably. This is what so fascinated me in graduate school--that fine line. Really understanding how it worked. Not just how to make an ad, or how to buy media, but how the structure of advertising and marketing worked and why. The theory and politics behind advertising were always the most interesting to me. Where does it come from, why do I want to create an invisible line from the upper left to the bottom right, why don't I want to create that line, why is someone going to suddenly choose one brand over another when price isn't an issue??? What is the rationale behind it all? What is the science to it? And there is a science to it. A lot of Creatives try to make it solely that, creative, because that is often what wins awards, but the science is what creates a brand.
I miss the theory, the debate. There are no hard and fast rules to advertising, it is always changing, so it sounds weird to say there is a science to it, but it is the kind of science that has yet to make it out of the theory stage. As soon as one theory is decided upon, something changes and we are back at the starting board. But that keeps things fresh and interesting. And it certainly makes for wonderful banter.