The Local Roots of Creative

Have you ever noticed how much local influences play into creative development?  In some cases, I’d go so far as to call this a "negative bias," especially when a larger focus is intended.  The shortcomings of mass media I guess.

Take the new Dunkin Donuts campaign for instance:  "America Runs On Dunkin’."  They killed "Great Lengths" after 5 months, which was very similar to a local campaign for Citizens Bank.  The "bring yourself back" campaign was great, but had a short run too.  Although previously French-owned, DD is now owned in part by Boston-based Bain Capital.  One of the most often aired spots from their new campaign, "Doing Things," features a catchy, driving Dropkick Murphys-style anthem that Red Sox Nation will find familiar.  Hmm…DD is based just South of Boston, Hill Holliday just 30 minutes north in Back Bay.

(Update: Comments in the HH blog point out that the song is by TMBG – definitely different than "Here Come The ABCs")

Similar local bias in news coverage from CNN.  Coverage often over-focuses on local stories from the Atlanta area assuming that a national audience cares.  Gripping for sure but way too much air time spent on it for an international station.

(Update:  case in point – two U.S. headlines right now are about a Georgia Tech student terror suspect and TSA computer glitch at Hartsfield.  By contrast, MSNBC lists Lynx in Colorado, Moussaoui trial, and Betty Ford).

Ever read the example copy under the Google Maps search box?  It’s always had a San Francisco reference, most recently "10 market st, san francisco."  Looks like the Hyatt sits on top of it now, but it was an historic building back in the day.

Not an issue if you draw on some local inspiration that appeals to a larger audience.  It’s a problem when your creative team has local myopia and can’t focus beyond pleasing local management with a focus on local culture.  Keep this in mind next time you see an ad, especially where client and creative are headquartered in the same place.

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