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Google has a think tank dedicated solely and exclusively to its brand development. Such resources are part of what enables Google to lead the world—not just in terms of the share it maintains in the markets in which it competes, but also in its ability to communicate with and appeal to consumers through integrated marketing. The lessons that the chief creative officer of Google Creative Lab, Robert Wong, was willing to share at a recent advertising conference might seem somewhat obvious, but they are also critical.

First, get creative, interesting people together and let them create, without worrying about outcomes like revenues or sales. Such notions are inherent to any brainstorming or think tank efforts, but they bear repeating for many firms.

Second, demonstrate, don’t advertise. In its marketing communications, Google always seeks to tell a story, the moral of which is how Google helps people achieve the outcomes they seek. However, this connection generally seems almost secondary in the advertising. Instead, the focus is on telling a story.

Third, make the story meaningful. Google’s marketing communications are often inspirational, recounting how a person overcame a hurdle or met a challenge—even if in some cases those challenges are more amusing than painful.

Fourth, when all else fails, make good connections. Wong recounted that when the team was really stuck, they called famous Hollywood director Ridley Scott for some suggestions. Such an option is not available to most marketers, of course, but it does emphasize the need for various insights and perspectives on a concept, if marketers hope to get the most creative result.

Source: Kevin Ryan, “What Can the Average Marketer Learn from Google Creative Lab?” Advertising Age, April 19, 2013

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