Seems that everywhere brands are capitalizing on the humanistic side of connections in an attempt to get consumers motivated. First that creepy Burger King that turned out to be more than just curious despite all those awkward moments and walks with Brooke Burke on the beach. Now enter the Geico caveman who has been anointed as the next TV star, despite his humor coming in 30 second spots. Really interesting to see how that turns into multiple 30 minute episodes.
Brands are often not planned to have personalities. Its revealed through products, business practices, and interactions with consumers. I hate to overuse this brand but Apple is doing it two ways: Communication and Retail. Apple has been using its Mac/PC guys to bring to life computer conversations in a quite memorable way that everyone can relate to. Its retail stores are a whole nother can of worms to talk about (think Brand as experience here) but its stores are so contemporary, have such an interactive look and feel- it mimics Apple's products
The rise of urban spam has made many of us immune or even anti-advertising. Thats probably why so many agencies & corporations are gung-ho on the user-generated content. They are scared/lazy/whatever it might be, but there seems to be a turn towards the humanistic side of things. Brands are using personality to cut through clutter and speak directly with consumers.
The superbowl has been an excellent case of entertainment as marketing(maybe an anomaly). Consumer's watch commercials for enjoyment much more so than the actual message. Now we are seeing the reverse with marketing as entertainment. The Burger King has moved into every media from cinema to video games and people eat it up(ha!). Several decades ago having a mascot was necessary for the brand, but in an endorsement type of way. Now these "mascots" populate our everyday world, but not just in endorsement or tv spots. Just look at all the flash games with our crazy characters.
Its about living where consumers live and doing what they do. Humanizing our brand puts the realm of experience within consumers grasp and establishes what all brands should have, dialogue. Dialogue is dictated by consumers, as evidenced by the all the user generated stuff floating around out there. Brands shouldn't focus so much on just letting consumers run the brand, as much as they should humanize their brand so it could talk if consumers wanted to.
Thanks to Amber for the image