Below-the-line work shouldn’t be ignored

I read with interest David Reed’s article “The Ideas Factory” (MW May 12). Unfortunately, above-the-line marketing is still largely considered to be the “sexy” side of the industry, while below-the-line activity such as direct mail, direct-response TV, door-drops and inserts can be dismissed to the creativity sidelines, even though they drive the metrics and form the bulk of campaign activity.

However, there is no need for below-the-line marketing to precisely replicate above-the-line creative work, as long as the work keeps in line with the general brand strategy. The two disciplines perform different functions. Successful integrated creative work embraces the brand positioning, while delivering it in an execution appropriate for the channel.

FCBi London’s work with Goldfish is a good example. The brand launch TV ad used Billy Connolly to promote the values as accessible and quirky. Direct activity used the same values, but didn’t put Connolly in an envelope – it used goldfish imagery focusing on everyday objects in the home to deliver new customers.

Brands need an integrated approach that delivers accountable brand potency at every stage – whether it comes from above the line or below.

Carolyn Stebbings

Managing director

FCBi London

London WC1

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