The Firemen started out as an advertising execution but Reckitt-Benckiser have built them into a distinctive global brand property used across the mix. The power of having a simple visual property that communicates the benefit in a distinctive and engaging way cannot be under-estimated. Why should every global brand strive to develop their own?
- When going global, go visual. Stop endless time & resources going into finding the perfect translation of your finely crafted english slogan. At best they usually come out sounding a little awkward, at worst incomprehensible. Firemen put out fires. It doesn't matter what language it is in.
- When aiming for the heart of a large market, like heartburn, you have to communicate the core benefits. In this case speed and efficacy. But rather than just adding 'Fast & Effective' as your tagline/benefit claim, a unique visual allows you to be distinctive yet bang on the core of the mart where most people are.
- This is something we bang on about a lot in this blog: brand memory structure. By communicating this simple unique symbol for the brand across the years and different executions, people have built up a mental shorthand – firemen = Gaviscon's fast effective relief. That's all people need to know as they cruise the aisles of their pharmacy/grocery store looking for heartburn relief.
- Great principle to have on the desk in the global CMO's office but dang hard to do. If you have a single distinctive visual brand property that communicates the core benefit then each market can do a local voiceover, tag on a local campaign/talent front and back and you can be both globally consistent AND locally relevant. Powerful stuff.