I just spent an entire afternoon browsing old BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 idents. Call it nostalgia. Call it a lockdown-induced decent into madness. But there’s something fascinating about those TV interludes that played during the early 2000s.
They’re iconic. Each video may be different but as a collection, they’re still distinctive.
Take BBC One’s 2002 series, for example. A dozen different clips featuring dancers, acrobats, and athletes – all tied together by the red brand colour and the theme of rhythm.
It wasn’t until I re-watched them (close to a decade later) that I released just how clearly these clips are burned into my memory. The same goes for BBC2’s weird and wonderful series of two-shaped animations.
But in the back of my mind as I binged my way through these playlists, I couldn’t help but ask…
Why don’t more display ads take this approach?
Distinctive doesn’t have to be boring.
Byron Sharp released his book How Brands Grow over a decade ago. The distinctiveness vs. differentiation argument has dominated marketing ever since.
But in the race to define a distinctive set of brand assets, many marketers have become… Well, boring.
Display ads are all too often just cropped versions of website headers. Social media graphics are condensed case study pages. In the drive to be distinctive, brands sacrifice creativity.
“In the drive to be distinctive, brands sacrifice creativity.”
When it comes to building a set of distinctive brand assets, don’t box yourself in. Distinctive doesn’t mean uniform. It’s a framework that leaves room for creativity.