The Intrigue of Drugs in Marketing
Creating an Experience: Drugs, in the context of marketing, symbolise the allure of a heightened experience or altered state of mind. Brands often leverage this motivator by positioning their products or services as transformative, capable of bringing euphoria, relaxation, or adventure to consumers’ lives.
The “Addictive” Factor: Similar to the allure of addictive substances, marketing offers can be designed to create a sense of dependency among consumers. By fostering loyalty and repeat purchases, brands can capitalize on the psychological impact of addiction, ultimately driving long-term customer retention.
Transcending Reality: Drugs have the power to transcend reality and transport individuals to new realms. In marketing, this translates to offering solutions that promise escape from everyday challenges or solutions that open doors to unexplored possibilities, captivating audiences and making the brand stand out from competitors.
Can knowledge of these motivators be used to advantage when creating public information media designed to help overcome what makes them and their associations so seductive and compelling?
When IDEAS was just a start-up, my stated goal was to become a dominant force in design internationally. With that, I believed, would come riches and fame.
Back to earth, my first paid design job was painting the number 27 on a large beach pebble for my neighbour’s doorstep. He was fed up repeatedly missing out on his parcel deliveries.
In that job, I learned about client appreciation and satisfaction. And kindness: folks would go out of their way to find work for a start-up kid. I also discovered that success could be measured in more ways than financial reward—creativity could be used as a force for change. I also discovered my superpower: an innate understanding of the human condition.
IDEAS began to make a difference beyond our street.
Our first campaign for Central Scotland Police targeted kids and drugs. With young kids in the family, it was a subject close to heart. Our campaign sought to inform but also change community perception of the Police, essentially a rebrand. The success of that campaign led to a Central Scotland-wide initiative.
Soon work for Police Scotland, Woman in Policing and CrimeStoppers, our influence showed no bounds. Why? The results were off the scale—with our creativity, we had brought about positive change in perception and actions.
Among our successes was the recognition and predisposed adoption of SID, an intelligence’ flagging’ system implemented UK-wide. SID allowed police officers to track the movements of known criminals when they move through different force boundaries.
At National Police conferences, I’d pick up work for Interpol and even the CIA. I would sit at the table of the most influential Policing figures in the UK.
But these guys move on.
The same creative strategies we created to foster support for the local bobby are now being used by negotiators faced with humanitarian crises caused by war, corrupt regimes and terrorists.
In other industries the story was the same: soon we were working for the largest companies in the world: Adobe, BP Worldwide, Virgin, Audemars Piguet, British Airways, Rolls Royce, the Post Office, Ferrari, Ineos, M&S and Schuh, Cadbury, Compare The Market …
They say fame (of an individual or organisation) can be measured as a snapshot taken from the perspective of a given population at a particular time.
Of course, it’s entirely subjective.