Kiss the principle

Jumping Brain by Emilio Garcia
Image by “lapolab” via Flickr

Every 1 out of 5 clients offer you a brief and end it with the acronym: K.I.S.S.. Likely they add words like result, target, goal. and ROI. “OMG – There we go again, headache!”

Reading K.I.S.S. in the brief used to put me off … “Excuse me! You don’t want my fantastic new and never-seen-before ideas? You don’t want me to be truly creative and rock the consumer’s world?” It feels like the worst repulsive thing to tell a creative director to keep it simple and STUPID. When a brief said explicitly K.I.S.S. I replied: “my ass. “I didn’t want the job. Simply because I didn’t believe K.I.S.S. would lead to better results. I believe in Engagement in Discovery. I want to treat the consumer as smart, able to think, and digest a message.

Maybe it’s age or weariness. Since a year or so I’m following K.I.S.S. as well without rebellion. Two mandatory reasons:

1 Listen
First of all, I learned to listen to my client. He IS actually in the middle of his target group. He knows them best, has all the facts and figures and knows all about his own product. Difficult but good is to bear in mind that you (me) do not know everything. Adding a direction or solution that is awkward to the branch does make a difference –and not just literally– but 99 out of 100 will fail just because of that.

2 Believe
Second. I used to promote the opposite: make it as difficult as can be to reach a higher engagement. People (consumers alike) want to solve things. If there’s a puzzle people want to know the pieces and put it back together. It’s natural. Once solved they don’t want to throw it away but keep it and show it to everybody.

Why did I and Where did I start to believe this was not the only solution?

With the extending usage of digital information there’s a significant increase of capacity to memorize things like phone numbers, addresses or even the names of your friends children. Names of cities and states, the amount of inhabitants of Moscow, the freezing point of Helium, the year that Kennedy got killed; we like to Google it. We use navigation to get home, and translators to speak a foreign language.

Though this is quite human; we don’t like to work physically but apparently neither do we like to work mentally.

This lecture by David Rock is a true eye opener. In the first 5 minutes he already shows you why you should put effort in K.I.S.S.. People don’t want to find out themselves, they want to dream on and do absolutely nothing to obtain information. Even the word ‘obtaining’ makes them step back. “Ufff, is that –like– a verb? Do I have to –like– do something?” Presenting everything on a silver plate and servicing your client to the max is what will make them happy.

Is this new Marketing? No – it’s quite old, ancient almost. But due to the speed of the progress Marketing has to find new ways to service and with this service make new ways of income.

Kiss the principle – embrace simplicity – help people to stop thinking is what makes the money.

Marco de Boer

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