Point of view: Escape the 'swim lane'

Jackson Collins
Grey New York

Few would disagree with the principle of integrated communications. Brands want to ensure that every action they take contributes to a coherent impression that will engage people. It seems straightforward, but it is extremely difficult to achieve.

The challenges to implementing a successful integrated communications strategy can be upstream or downstream. Upstream there is the temptation to try to force fit the same executional idea across every touchpoint. But each touchpoint has its own characteristics and the creative device that works so well on TV may not work as well at shelf. Downstream clients and their agency partners have to avoid selecting a particular tactic because it's innovative and/or has captured people's imagination.

Clearly effective integrated communications requires developing a brief that can inspire and guide the client and the agencies to identify and evaluate what the brand should say; how it should behave; and where and when these actions should take place. The question is how to go about developing such a brief?