It seems rumors of the jingle’s death have been greatly exaggerated … by me at least!  Having waxed on last month about how great life was when we all had a few jingles to hum as we went through our day, I had my attention drawn to an organisation that has brought the art into the 21st century.

Meet Now House, a business that not only proves that music is a viable and valuable contemporary marketing communications tool, but makes a strong case for integration, DM, social networking and The Big Idea in one neat initiative.

[youtube=http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha-qhbDrngk]

I say this because I became aware of Now House from their Christmas card, which I arrived at via a link from James van Etten’s Clippings and the card was one of those that not only could you forward to your own contacts, but was a rare example of one that you might actually forward without permanently destroying your street cred or losing all your friends.

I suspect that I am not alone in dreading the pre-holiday mailbox full of gag-inducing, unoriginal, dross that most people pass-off for Christmas greetings.  I always find myself wondering how apparently switched-on companies can waste such an opportunity to underline their innovation, by demonstrating the opposite so dramatically every December.  Because one sign of a well-run business is that they don’t waste free communications opportunities, my advice to any client who is looking for a business partner for any purpose, is choose the one that didn’t give the job of designing their Christmas card to the tea lady (not that I have anything against tea ladies you understand!).

The “big idea” is a constant theme of this blog and my little talks.  Basically, my point is that however great your delivery vehicle may be, it has to be delivering something useful and in this world of marketing noise one of the essential attributes of a decent campaign is “cut through” – without the big idea your media costs are going down the toilet. 

I was involved a few months ago in a debate about viral.  Someone (I can’t remember who now) suggested that viral marketing is a great way to piss money away and they are right.  Isn’t automation great?  Now you can lose a shed-load of cash and never leave your desk!  If you consider most of the viral campaigns you see, its clear that their originators think that being in this goovy new media environment is enough in itself.  They don’t stop to think that its a double-edged sword that’s gonna demonstrate what twats they are to gazillions rather than just millions of people if they don’t use it right.

What Now House did with their Christmas card was use the delivery vehicle in  a way that demonstrated their skills, reinforced their brand charater, was worth taking the time to open and seeded a viral chain that I am now, in January, still perpetuating – now that’s efficient marketing!

The sub-text to this is that if they are this switched on and still doing stuff with music then there must be something in not only this jingle thing, but the guys at Now House.

Michael Weaver
January 9, 2009

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