advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What they shoulda done was — Post-it Notes™ edition.

UPDATE: And then they went and did this. *Hmmm.*

Whenever I see a brand missing an opportunity to do something cool with little or no effort on their part, I never know if I should file it under a single category because, like a mechanic, once I get in there and start looking around, I find other stuff.

Forgetting the usual phrases like connecting the dots or brand integration, I can tell right away what the woulda, shoulda, coulda is that’s missing when I look at something. Call me, for lack of a better word... The Brand Whisperer.™


Stickies®. Post-Its®. Post-It Notes®. Whatever you want to call them, 3M has parlayed little colored paper with non-permanent adhesive stuff on the back into a nice run. They created a brand category that crosses over both the office and home markets, something few products manage to do this successfully.

So I saw a short film called Post-It Love, about love in the workplace told with, duh, stickies, then saw other stuff being done with them. Things like a stop-motion version of Donkey Kong with full-size characters made of stickies. (Look, I’m not writing the full name out with that “®” each time kids. Deal.) There were other clips using them in different ways too, from student work to office pranks.

I then went to their website figuring I’d see a collection of all of these things, but instead, what I saw was the most corporate-looking approach to product videos going. They’re obviously well-produced and all, but the fake, over the top tone is the complete opposite of the vibe created by a community doing really cool stuff with the same product.

Instead, watch Sophie say cool 15 times.

Especially when compared with their very safe kids section. Creativity’s about coloring outside the stickies, no? (For starters, why not teach kids how to use them to create a simple mask animation? All the schools across America enter for a chance to win stuff for their school. Endless possibilities.)

You’d also expect to see a YouTube page with their own clips and anything tagged Post-It from YouTube Land, but nope. Dead. Even the link from their site to their contest page for One Million Uses is dead.

I don’t ever get in cases like this why brands choose to ignore the level of engagement I see created online for free. *wall, meet head* It’s either a brand sleeping, or lawyers controlling the PR firewall.

Hey 3M, the cool’s out there, grab hold of it. Woulda, shoulda, still can.

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