Saturday, October 11, 2008

3 Things I have in common with Scott Bedbury

1. He can’t sleep on airplanes
2. He hates the word advertising
3. He wants to change the world

Scott Bedbury, the man behind Nike and Starbucks branding took some time to chat with some J-school kids and reminded us why we are in advertising.

Admitting you’re an “ad” major is always difficult. Advertising has a dirty stigma, but it doesn’t have to be all Kiefer Kia princess commercials. According to Scott, a brand’s goal is to change public opinion and what some people don’t realize is that an “ad” can’t always do that. More often, it’s fixing the problems within a company, so it has something meaningful to sell. Scott says it’s about asking employees to close their eyes and imagine what the company would be like at its best, then finding a way to make it happen. You can’t put a bonnet on a dog and sell it as a hot a date.

Instead it’s about creating a brand that people want to be part of. For Starbuck, it was creating a “third” place for people escape. This included axing the butt hurting bar stools and introducing cushions.

We want to support companies we respect. That said, successful brands of the future will have to do more than make shiny toys, they will have to carry the torch for corporate responsibility.

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