Markedu has set out to interview marketers who take an active part in shaping our industry. In this interview you can meet marketing branding and storytelling expert Ricardo Miquelino. With a background as Group Creative Excellence Manager at Coca Cola, he knows a thing or two about branding .
1. First please tell us what you do, and what you did before that?
I am the founder and managing director of … and dos Santos, where I offer marketers a new model for the creation of marketing communication solutions. It’s basically about copying the way creativity exists in our society today in order to access fresher ideas and execute stronger integrated messages:
Firstly we work directly with original sources of creativity: The real creators, artists who are able to develop and execute their own ideas from the worlds of TV, film, print, digital, etc.
Secondly we mash them up with other creative minds: We assemble small collectives of diverse artists to work on integrated ideas, e. g. bringing a film director together with web-designer and sometimes adding even people, whose expertise transcend the typical marketing background, e. g. journalists, musicians, fashion designer, etc. to drive the freshness of the work
Thirdly we give their artistic power direction with the help of creative producers and strategists, who further drive the integrated concepts by delivering a holistic communication strategy – a combination of connection and creative planning.
What fascinates me most is the opportunity to work with some of the worlds leading creative minds and the almost unlimited opportunities this flexible model offers, to deliver ideas in purposeful ways.
Before setting up my own agency in Berlin, I was the Group Creative Excellence Manager for The Coca-Cola Company in Europe. Between 2004 and 2011 I was responsible for the creation of national, Pan-European as well as global communication campaigns such as the Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup in Germany, the Coca-Cola EURO ’08 and the Coke Zero & James Bond partnership, all with a strong focus on integrated solutions. Ahead of this role I started my career in 1994 with Initiative Media in Hamburg and worked for agencies such as D’Arcy / Media Vest, OMD and Universal McCann / McCann-Erickson.
2. With a long experience in branding, what are your most important lessons to pass on to corporate marketers/branding folks?
Even if this is a “no brainer” you can’t tell people enough how important it is to understand your brand, target group, communication and competitor environments from inside out. And this doesn’t mean that you should create tons of research data and get lost in the analysis of the numbers. It’s about getting down to the essence of your brand, the real insights, the real issues and challenges you are facing. Use your bird’s eye view to ask good questions about the world your brand exits in. And be brave to focus, focus, focus and define the one and most important change you want to bring about with communication to create that one strong message.
3. Storytelling is not new, but seems to become more and more relevant. Why?
The models we use to do marketing communication today take a village. To ensure you address the media behaviour of your target group right, you will need to involve a huge number of specialist agencies.
And to secure those agencies work towards a consistent message you have to implement processes like the 360° (keeping visuals, sound, lines identically in any communication channel) or the core idea (interpretations of one communication idea in the context of the communication channel from a consumer perspective).
Storytelling is “just” another way how to drive integrated solutions. It’s a kind of extension of the core idea model, but it puts a focus on creating messages around the characteristics of stories, giving it more substance and longevity by rolling them out in episodical forms. And it’s becoming more and more relevant as we can see the importance of stories increasing in our society today:
People rather buy into lifestyle values than product values … feelings, experiences and stories, myth and rituals are the drivers of build brand love and purchase intentions.
4. Briefing an advertising agency seems to be a bit of a challenge. What are your 3 most important learnings from your career?
– Do your homework, be specific and … single minded!
– Embrace diversity and make sure that your creative forces mirror your specific need.
– Be open and liberal. Give your creative teams the opportunity for an evolution of your brief – sometimes be even open for a revolution here!
5. You will be giving a masterclass in Portugal soon. What are the three main reasons people should attend it?
When it comes to understand the essence of the success of your marketing communication, it’s all about the idea – nothing but the idea – and how it is explored, defined and brought to life.
This master class will help you to find the right ideas by
• using tools to identify the most promising market insights for your brands / products and translate these into strong marketing communication opportunities
• strengthening your communication process and projects via engaging and inspiring briefs for your agency partners and creative teams
• understanding clearly what makes a strong communication lead idea and building more value for your communication with the help of Storytelling
6. And finally, what are your thoughts about branding and storytelling for social media?
Social media is a quite important channel which plays a dominant role in the orchestration of your communication. It’s not another carrier, another platform to present a slick message – these are the contact points that offer you the context to show the right behaviour in the light of the brand worlds and stories you created.
It’s about giving people space to connect further, to react, to talk openly, to debate about you and your brand. It is the ultimate moment of truth – and it is the moment when you understand if your idea, your story has been strong enough and resonates with your target group … or not. Don’t fear their reaction! If you have a strong story people will embrace it and social media will be an essential driver of making fans for your brands!