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Brand Metrics Are Helpful. So is Consulting 'The Little Lad Who Loves Berries and Cream'.

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Sam Mardukas By Sam Mardukas

In the age of big data, marketers are living in a universe where every click, every like, every share is counted, measured and put into tidy little spreadsheets of insights. It's a world where success is only as real as their last Google Analytics report and creativity might as well be the eccentric aunt who’s invited to holiday dinners but no one really takes seriously.

Yet, let me propose a radical idea: a flash of insight from beyond the metrics, originating from a dancing, prancing lad with white stockings and a hat adorned with feathers, someone so ubiquitous in early-2000s television that if you even remotely remember anything about Starburst, it's him: The Little Lad Who Loves Berries and Cream.

"But hold on," I hear you blurt out, "This is nonsense! What could we possibly learn from a mincing sprite in a cravat who was part of a candy commercial over a decade ago?"

Here's my answer, in all its audacious, unapologetic simplicity:

It's because, my dear marketers, he's still relevant.

Remember, this little lad wasn't just hawking berries and cream Starbursts—he was a storyteller, a performer, a fascinating enigma who held our collective attention with his mesmerizing dance and passion for berries...and cream. It's a testament to the creative team behind him, but also to the fact that successful marketing is so much more than click-through rates and poll results.

So, let's dive into the marshmallow-cushioned, stat-free world of The Little Lad, and take away three sparkling jewels of wisdom that might put a spring in your marketing strategy.

  • Embrace the Bizarre:: The Little Lad was undeniably weird. But he was the greatest brand ambassador to ever twirl a parasol. It wasn't the candy he loved, remember, but the berries and cream flavor. The sheer oddity of his antics made him immediately memorable, showing us that brands can truly benefit from embracing the offbeat.

  • Commit to a Bit:: Starburst didn't just introduce the Little Lad—they let him take centre stage. He loved his berries and cream and he wasn't shy about it. Commitment to the bit, no matter how bizarre, creates a world where viewers understand your brand's message and remember it, even after years.

  • Quality Over Quantity:: Sure, the commercial was just 30 seconds long and the Little Lad spoke all of nine lines. But it left a far more lasting impression than many of the highly boosted, multi-million dollar campaigns by brands stocked with celebrities. It was in the quality of the storytelling that made the Lad unforgettable, teaching us that sometimes, less can indeed be more.

You see, sometimes in our data-driven quest for perfection, we marketers lose sight of the essence of our roles: to tell stories, to captivate imaginations, and transport our audience into worlds where Starbursts taste like berries, and cream.

So, here’s my humble request: next time you find yourself lost in a forest of metrics and KPIs, take a break, do a little self-examination, and remember to ask: “Would The Little Lad approve?” Because remember, The Little Lad doesn’t care about your CPC, he’s too busy dancing with joy over his berries and cream.

Let him be your muse, your guiding beacon pointing you away from the gloom of metric-focused campaigns, and towards the bright and Starburst-filled land of audacious creativity. After all, we’re not mere marketers, we’re storytellers. And isn't it about time we let The Little Lad Who Loves Berries and Cream pen his own chapter in our story?

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