2014 Marketing Hall of Fame — A Turning Point In Marketing

On Wednesday night, 5/28, we will be inducting 3 people in the 2014 Marketing Hall of Fame.

MHoF_Col

This marks a major turning point in marketing. The Age of Narrative Marketing is now ready for prime time.

It was 10 years ago that Ad Age mocked the very idea of narrative as a strategic framework, metaphors as the keys to compelling communications  and storytelling as the single most effective way to integrate digital and traditional media. The catalyst? A major talk by the CMO of McDonald’s revealing the secret for the company’s revitalization and leap in relevance, market share and stock prices — a new model for marketing, Brand Journalism, spearheaded by Larry Light.  Among the detractors were Al & Laura Ries were among the loudest detractors, “The notion that McDonald’s should abandon the positioning philosophy and instead adopt a brand journalism approach is lunacy.

  • Around the same time the ARF (advertising research foundation) was conducting a major industry study on the power of story being more effective than the traditional rational “proof point” or “reason-why”.
  • Gerald Zaltman was publishing widely on his research into the universal power of metaphor.
  • And 10 years ago I introduced the Narrative Branding model of marketing.
  • Douglas Holt of Harvard was demonstrating a model of “iconic” brands in which cultural storytelling was more important than the standard “positioning” or “USP” models.

Lunacy, heresy, whatever you want to call it, the reality is that narrative models of marketing are far more effective than traditional positioning. How far has marketing gone in the direction of narrative marketing?  When Liquid & Linked was revealed at Cannes it was received with awards.  More importantly, it is helping the company to achieve it’s aggressive marketing goals. And that is what is most important.

So join us on Wednesday as we are celebrating the brilliance of Beth Comstock of GE, Joe Tripodi of The Coca-Cola Company and Philip Kotler of Kellogg School of Marketing.  Each one of them has broken with the old traditional model of marketing.

  • The Coca-Cola Company’s model of Liquid & Linked is a prime example.
  • Beth Comstock has elevated the role of marketing within GE to create new markets.
  • And Philip Kotler is always at the forefront of where marketing is going, and particularly how marketing can promote positive social changes.

Another sign of the new age is that several years ago JWT, our host for Wednesday night, embraced Brand Journalism, created videos around their version of the approach, held panels at SxSW and did much to promote the new model.  The Commodore would be proud!

So come on Wednesday. Celebrate the Age of Narrative Marketing! Celebrate brilliance in marketing!  Marketinghalloffame.org

 

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