These days brands are addicted to the immediacy of PPC advertising.

CEOs will proudly say dumb stuff like. “Why would I do any other kind of advertising if I can accurately track my spend and sales thanks to the accuracy of pay-per-click?” Which makes perfect sense in the mind of the ‘analyse-CEO’, but building a brand is far more nuanced than that.

Sadly, business has become addicted to measurability and ROI, to the total detriment of their brands.

You can’t build a compelling, sustainable brand on the back of PPC alone. Great brands are like magnetic characters in epic stories – they are unique, interesting, have a point-of-view…they stir emotion. Just like people are fascinated by the characters in Game of Thrones today, they used to be about Coke and Sony and Budweiser back in the day. And because way too many companies and brands these days are run by damn accountants, programmers and other individuals lacking in imagination – we just don’t invest in really great character building advertising anymore.

But thankfully there are still some CMOs around with the balls to fight for big budgets that shift the brand needle. Lacoste recently released this branded film, entitled Crocodile Inside – that makes the point clearly.

Production-wise, it is beautifully shot, has a stirring Edith Piaf soundtrack and is masterfully directed.

Personally though, the content of the ad is a little jarring for us.

Lacoste clearly believe that radical psychological dysfunction is an admirable personally trait that should be exploited for the purposes of selling their advertising, which I guess pushes an unhealthy image of love (that at 46 years of age we know to be unsustainable). But that small personal issue aside, the production on this is phenomenal.

These being young people in the ad, they were probably arguing about who used up the last of the free data on their home network.

The point being however, that it’s great to see a big brand understanding the need to invest in the nuanced-public-narrative of their story – and making sure that they spend the appropriate amount of money on telling that story.

Sadly in South Africa, we just don’t have CMOs at the caliber required to even have the ‘consciousness of narrative’ to understand how important this kind of brand positioning is – let alone the clout to go and engage in a budget scrap with the stingy accountant CEO that ‘doesn’t see the value’ (but then ironically, will still tell you what a great marketers Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are).

Building a strong brand has never been as important as it is today, and yet so few company leaders see the value in it. Without great brand building – you are fighting the game as a commodity. As a commodity, the market decides your value and you have very little control over the future direction of your business. Those that get it will prosper, those that ignore it, will die.

Our suggestion is that you immediately fire the idiots that argue against the spending of money on great brand building. Get rid of them straight away, because they are directly sabotaging your company’s future by not being able to see the value in building your story.

Nice work Lacoste.