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B2B is never going to be as creative as Coca-Cola; so give up now!

Another day, another hangover... this week has been littered with them. My current ‘head’ is the cause of the B2B Marketing Awards Shortlist Announcement Event (snappy name).  Awesome night, with the great and the good attending, and all that... 

This is not the reason for this blog, more the catalyst. 

At the B2BASAE (better?) I hooked up with a load of industry guys. All good value bar one conversation, when somebody hit me with a really irritating statement. I will not name him, he’s usually a good guy, but he’ll know who he is. Within minutes of meeting him and even before the shortlist was announced, he said (I paraphrase) “Well, the problem with B2B is that it’s never going be as creative as B2C, for example Coca-Cola”. WTF!? He was even in B2B?!?!

His position; B2C is great because Coca-Cola is a great brand and B2B is rubbish e.g. the Industrial Wires Ltd advert, in Wire Weekly, is a load of old tosh.

I don’t get the argument?! I don’t even think it is relevant nowadays. OK, Industrial Wires Ltd is fictional - well I hope so, or I have lost a potential friend. But it might be fair to assume it’s advertising would be no match to Coca-Cola’s, fully integrated, augmented, gamifacted, steroid loaded, branded campaign; hence his point that consumer brands creative is better than business brands – and by some margin. But that is massively distorting the market. We’re mixing apples and pears; and so long as we do that, we (or he) will totally miss the point.

Sure thing, loads of B2B campaigns are devoid of any imagination, rectumly motivated and finessed with a 6 year old’s eye. But, and this is my point, so are loads of B2C campaigns!? I mean, there are loads of consumer brands I hate. There is loads of consumer advertising which look ridiculous. It’s not even down to taste, they are poorly executed. I mean, have you seen the state of TV advertising nowadays!?

At the same time, I have seen some great B2B work (and poor). I have seen great B2B creative from Google, British Gas Business, Orange and a load more and that’s just this year. What have they got in common with Coca-Cola, well for starters they are all massive brands, with a load of resource.

Reversely, why has consumer TV advertising creative deteriorated... there is less money going into that channel, hence some of the quality has dropped. In the case of Industry Wires Ltd, they have been assumed to have only put in about 50 pence for marketing and it shows.

So what is the answer? Two fold. 1,the bigger the budget (usually) the better the creative. 2, we need to find a way that creative, on a budget, doesn’t have to look shoddy. Worth noting, some people are doing well with a tight budget!

Bottom line, I have been thoroughly more impressed with British Gas’s most recent campaign, than I am at Christmas when Coco-Cola rolls out there cheesy, sickly-sweet Christmas ad, when that lorry end up driving off into the distance, to the sound of bells and a vomit soundtrack.

Shoot me down, but to be honest, there is as much rubbish in B2C as there is in B2B, but on the flip side there is great stuff too. You just might miss the great B2B stuff, ad you are not the target audience, whereas you’ll never miss an advert being shoved down your throat, on Christmas Eve, in between your favourite programme!


BTW Just so you know, I love Coca-Cola – great brand and great product!