SPOONS HOLD YOU BACK – By @dj_sbex
By Sophie Becker
SPOONS HOLD YOU BACK
“Spoons are your friend” they said. “But spoons help not hinder” they said. “Maybe the problem isn’t the spoon Sophie, maybe it’s you” they said.
WRONG. WRONG WRONG WRONG.
Alex Taylor, you are so very wrong.
As of Wednesday 27th February our seemingly useless proposition had become an indisputable truth:
Spoons hold you back
Or at least they held me and Zoe back this week.
They may be pointless but they sure did cut us deep. A rounded edge can stab you in the back just as brutally as a machete.
We thought we had a good thing going with the Frubes. It all made sense. A product truth: you didn’t need to use a spoon. It was a fantastically simple campaign for us to prove that we could be “fun”.
But as we pitched our proposition to various mentors, we realised how many holes that rounded edge had pierced deep within our souls. Fun we were not. Simple was a distant memory
Eventually we gave up. We completely failed at selling Frubes. Yet what is failure without a lesson?
Each mentor we spoke to carved a hole in our idea. Some with more venom than others. These are just a few of the things we’ll remember for next time:
- Have a point:
Spoons are pointless. Or rather, turning everyone against spoons was pointless. Spoons just aren’t the problem. There are few (if any) people in this world that would list a spoon as one of their top ten problems in life. Fair. I would not.
If you’re going to make a utensil the enemy, there has to be a really good reason. It can’t just be that it serves your product. In other words: solve a real world problem, don’t invent one.
The people need fewer problems not more.
- A product truth can’t just be true:
It has to be a product benefit. The benefit isn’t really that you don’t need a spoon. If I’m completely honest with myself, the benefit isn’t even that you can eat them on the go. It’s that they offer a fun eating experience if any benefit at all.
While fun is what we were going for, fun isn’t what we ended up with. Confusion is what we ended up with. And that isn’t fun for anyone.
Just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s worth saying.
- Kill you babies:
Know when to shut up about spoons. Zoe shut up about the spoons long before I did. I just couldn’t let go.
“Frubes are so innocuous. Why can’t we solve it?” I’d say.
“If we were working in a real agency, we’d be specifically assigned this product. We couldn’t just change our campaign” I’d say.
Whilst all these statements are true, it’s important to remember we’re at school and we’ll never have the opportunity to perfect our Kraft to this extent ever again.
Each brief is an opportunity to develop and showcase our creative voice. If your proposition isn’t doing bits for your portfolio, kill it. Kill it now. We won’t have that luxury in the future.
- Research Matters:
After giving up on our second proposition (it wasn’t so much a proposition as a desperate attempt to retro-fit an interesting observation to a brand), Marc sat with us and taught us how to research properly. We researched AirWick for a whole afternoon, surveying the intangibly-named flavours and various problems surrounding foul odours in your home (i.e. Jacob).
Don’t just go for a pun, catchy phrase or end line for your SMP. Go for something you actually need to say. Go for an interesting message you’ve found through interrogation and conversation even if it doesn’t sound too catchy.
So as it turns out, spoons do let you down if you hold onto them enough. Don’t let a spoon stab you in the back. Don’t let them hold you back.
Research, find a real product benefit and have something meaningful to say. If not, chuck it away and start again.
The copy scores 81.6 in the Flesch Reading Ease test