We've been debating the question, is the client agenda and the consumer agenda drifting apart?
Smart brand owners get this. Some are coming round (cf Unilever, recently). Some still seem oblivious.
Then I saw this poster. What is a 'G&T experience'? Let alone the ultimate one. What does that actually mean?
I know what they are getting at. I have been in those meetings. They want to say, there's more to this brand than product points about botanicals etc.
But whose 'brand experience' are we talking about?
The poster was on a rather run-down site in Shoreditch. Locals (probably) love the brand, but would have scoffed at this presentation and would probably resist anything that compromised their own experience of the brand
We are entering an era where brands have to genuinely take notice of consumers' agenda. To pretend that a brand does by adding the word 'experience' is no longer enough. And the turning point is London 2012.
Towards the end of the last century, 'experience' started appearing everywhere. The BBC museum became the BBC Experience. The company packaging 'our' millennium celebrations was the New Millemmium Experience Company.
It was in this same era, not long before (2007) when Wolff Olins revealed their designs for London 2012. Not so much a brand identity as a brand identity experience. As somebody no doubt said.
Back then, 'Wally' Olins described the logo as "a powerful brand taking its place in a brand-savvy world."
But the trouble is, being more brand savvy means people are less tolerant of a brand identity so far removed from their genuine experience.
Hate to say we told you so, but we suspected as much at the time.
When the Olympics arrives, will we grow to like and respect the identity and the typeface? An identity which is "bold, spirited and even discordant (to) echo London's qualities as a modern, diverse and vibrant city".
Let's just hope that our experience of the Olympics is even better than the designers' hyperbole about their creation. I personally rather like the way that 'london' is written. And those five rings.
And let's hope we have now entered a new, brand savvier era, where we are no longer at the mercy of arrogant professionals whose own agenda was the only show in town.