We connected with one of the most awarded creatives in the industry, Jenny Glover, Chief Creative Officer at Juniper Park\TBWA, on the intersection between content and marketing, and the value in subtlety.
Content is the bridge between you and your audience. How do you anticipate and then integrate the right topics for your audience while maintaining a consistent brand voice?
Far too many brands seem to be subscribing to the confetti canon school of content. For me, a smart place to start is with a guiding idea. When content builds off a single idea, with every iteration or expression acting as an episode, it can accommodate massive stretch and variation, but ultimately still be laddered back to that shared thought. Data is also really valuable to help direct us towards the right topics, areas of interest, or insights. But, in order for it to feel like more than topic box-ticking and to keep it relevant to the brand personality, that big organizing idea is the essential glue.
What role does branding play in content marketing?
This depends entirely on a brutally honest response to the question, “does the audience actually want you there or not?”. Sometimes, the answer is yes, for example when a brand provides the necessary authority or credentials behind thought leadership. It’s of course much trickier when the answer is no, but overt, heavy-handed branding and product-speak can be the content kiss of death. The relationship between brand and consumer is little like that of the parent-teen school drop off dynamic. The parent can provide the ride but hooting and waving are definitely frowned upon. In a nutshell: keep it subtle.
Not everything can be advertised the same way, which can require a different approach across clients. How does content affect the way something is marketed and how do you pivot to treat this?
This is all about what’s right and relevant for the brand and your audience. It’s not rocket science. Content is often about playing where your audience is and giving them something they’ll want or need to engage in. If this very basic theory leads the way, you avoid being the misguided brand-peddling compression socks in the metaverse.
Without giving away your secrets, what are some things that are integral to your internal checklist when creating content?
It’s no checklist but here’s one of the most important ones: Your competition isn’t other brand content, it’s all the content out there. You’re up against any content that competes for audience attention and those are the standards of originality and creativity that you need to match up to. No pressure.
How do you strategize for the way audiences will want to interact with content in virtual realities, Web 3.0, and the metaverse? To what extent do you involve influencers and consumers in creating the brand narrative?
Virtual realities have really expanded our creative canvas and created opportunities beyond the realms of reality. For me, the first starting point to interacting with audiences in this space is understanding how they behave there, the values of escapism, belonging and self-expression that underpin virtual communities and of course the functionality of the platforms. The best work in this space doesn’t get in the way, it ‘joins in’ and shows up in a relevant, intuitive, and original way. Partnering and tapping into influencers, users and pioneers in this space is highly valuable in helping brands to integrate successfully. At TBWA we’re guided by our NEXT Shifts which form part of a constantly updated training and learning resource on the new trends, platforms and experiences that are shaping our industry.