Almost a year ago I was writing a blunt "I Hate it" post about the new worldwide positioning of, my then favourite telecom brand, Orange. I think it's smug to quote oneself but I was saying this: "The communication is bland, indiscriminate, boring. The commercials are like corporate presentation movies, featuring expressionless and uninteresting people. The OOH are stupid, uninsightful, lost in the noise."
A year on and I find myself looking back and thinking that I may not have been as silly as I was told back then. Back then, talking to a friend she saw amazing potential in the campaign, she saw campaignability and generousness, she made me think I had no clue.
Today the only thing that differentiates Orange's ads from anyone else's is, sometimes, the soundtrack (smugly and posh chosen tracks from smug and posh artists such as Nouvelle Vague, Jasom Mraz and such headliners at a possible smug festival in Bucharest). Sometimes the poorly understood insight with dreadful executions like the one about the pathetic husband whose wife won't let him do what he likes (where the pay off is "I am all the people who think they know better"). Today I remember every Orange ad, because it's just so under expectations. Common looking visuals, common looking people, septic environments, 80s style smiles and everywhere a non-sell non-telecom line "I am ...". I have no figures to support my claim but I know for a fact that I have not heard people talking about Orange ads for, hmmmmm, almost a year now. Back then the marshmallow duo was on everyone's lips, and the postpaid services with their eerie minimalistic executions were posted on artists' blogs.
I know it may sound biased because I work in an agency who works for the competition BUT Orange was my favourite brand a year ago, even with the agency working for another telecom, and I would have stuck with it. I don't do corporate brain-wash. Fortunately for my paycheck Orange did me a favor and turned bad. So now, I can be on-message with my agency: I have no reason to like Orange anymore.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.