in black and white
Main menu
Home About us Share a book
Biology Business Chemistry Computers Culture Economics Fiction Games Guide History Management Mathematical Medicine Mental Fitnes Physics Psychology Scince Sport Technics

A ravolution in Creative business strategy - Schemetter B.

Schemetter B. A ravolution in Creative business strategy - Wiley & sons , 2003. - 257 p.
ISBN 0-471-22917-2
Download (direct link): leaparevolutionIncreativeb2003.pdf
Previous << 1 .. 15 16 17 18 19 20 < 21 > 22 23 24 25 26 27 .. 95 >> Next

Chapter 4 The Creative Corporate Culture
Who among us would step away from a big decision and say, as if looking heavenward, “It’s out of my hands”?
Well, that has happened.
Consider: Millions of dollars are being spent on new commercials. Hundreds of millions more are on the line. You are the head of marketing. Unlike most marketing czars—men and women who are inclined to push themselves into every creative meeting, every commercial shoot, every editing session and focus group—you say, “I do not need to approve the commercials. I will watch them on TV when everyone else does.”
How long do you think you would keep your job if you said that?
And, digging deeper, why would you say that?
Let Jerry Taylor, former president and CEO of MCI, explain why he declined to be involved in the approval process. In his view, he had total confidence in his advertising staff, so why preview the commercials? “There’s nothing I could offer—other than approval.”1
There are some companies that seem to perpetuate a culture of creativity within their organizations—companies where creativity is not just a lofty intellectual goal or part of a mission statement, but is genuinely embedded in the culture. These companies recognize that their best path to creativity is to establish an environment in which those singers and dancers can flourish. They’re the companies where it’s not necessarily the CEO who makes the leap, but where the CEO embraces creative thinking and provides an environment that fosters CBIs by encouraging people to think creatively about the business. In my mind, MCI is one of them.
Tear Down the Walls, Ditch the Doors
I first began working with MCI back in 1990, when it was a client of ours at Messner Vetere Berger Carey Schmetterer/RSCG. Tom Messner, who had a long history with MCI from its very beginning, knew Bill McGowan and Bert Roberts and Jerry Taylor and many of the other top executives. It was exhilarating to be along for the ride in
The Creative Corporate Culture
the 1990s as MCI revolutionized marketing in the telecommunications industry with one breakthrough campaign after another: Friends & Family, the first branded long-distance calling plan; the Anna Paquin campaign, the first advertising to talk about the Internet and its incredible future; the Gramercy Press Campaign, the first to launch simultaneously on TV and the Internet; 1-800-COLLECT, the first brand for collect calling.
And one other first: MCI was the first telephony company to approach the business market as a mass market—and reach business customers as it would any other consumer, through mass media.
From Commodity to Brand
With Friends & Family, MCI was also the first to move longdistance calling from a price-oriented commodity to a brand. We may take it for granted now, but if we do, it’s because of MCI. Branding long-distance calling was a huge creative leap; it was like Intel’s leap to brand a microprocessor or Perdue’s to brand a commodity that was publicly traded (chicken). Before this branded product, there were company names (AT&T, MCI, Sprint), but never a brand name that meant something unto itself. After the program was launched, that changed. If you asked anybody in the early to mid-1990s to tell you about Friends & Family, they might have said bad things about it or they might have said great things about it, but they knew what it was. In fact, a survey conducted by MCI at the time showed that more Americans knew about Friends & Family than knew that Hawaii is a state or that our vice president was Al Gore. Those years—1990 through 1996—were the most creative, explosive, unbelievable time in the company’s advertising history.
In transferring our partners’ experience from political campaigns to product campaigns, we were mavericks, nonconformists, throwing out all the old assumptions. We loved the urgency, the immediacy, of turning around spots on a dime, shifting our advertising from negative to positive, from attacking to defending, creating biographical spots just as candidates do. We broke all the rules.
Tear Down the Walls, Ditch the Doors
My partners Tom Messner and Barry Vetere led the creative way, and brilliant contributions were made by other very talented creative people. I led the strategic thinking and account management. But we could not have done it without the client. Once again, the client was the real hero.
Nurture Creativity from the Top Down
MCI, in the early 1990s, was one of those companies with a CEO who embraced and understood the power of creative thinking as it applies to business. In fact, the entire senior management understood the power of creativity and the value of creative thinking. It made our jobs easy; it was an environment in which we could flourish. But MCI also created an environment internally in which the singers and dancers within that organization could flourish. It did not matter who you were or what your job was—the best idea won.
Creativity was ingrained in the MCI culture. It made the client a joy to work with and it was a huge factor in enabling the company to achieve so many industry breakthroughs. And I think one of the things that made MCI so open to creativity was that its own reason for being actually came out of one highly creative thought: Monopolies, in the end, are not the best solution.
Previous << 1 .. 15 16 17 18 19 20 < 21 > 22 23 24 25 26 27 .. 95 >> Next