The Importance of the Framework of Relevance

Posted on November 24th, 2022 Tags :

Chrishantha Jayasinghe

Another young life lost! What a shame!”

This was the first thought which came to me as I saw the picture of the young man in the banner.

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“He is way too young to die,” I thought to myself wondering how the young man in the picture had lost his life.

It was only after a few minutes had gone by I realized that this banner was not about a loss of life, but rather a celebration of it.

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It was a birthday wish disguised as a funeral notice.

I am sure someone out there is quite proud of what they created.

I doubt they realized that a lot of people would not have seen it as a Birthday wish whilst they were passing this by or scrolling through this post on social media.

What a perfect example to highlight the role of the framework of relevance I thought to myself.

And thus began writing this article.

Creativity is about saying the usual in an unusual way.

However, if we don’t make an effort to make it relevant then it might not catch the attention of our audience.

And that is where the framework of relevance comes in.

We at Sarva too have used the metaphor of a funeral announcement. But instead of a human face, we showed the face of an elephant that had died. To focus people’s attention on the many elephant lives lost thanks to the Human Elephant Conflict.

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This execution made people stop and look again. Because they have never seen an elephant portrayed in this manner before, and it was relevant to the subject we were talking about.

This is a lesson we have learned the hard way.

One of the most popular commercials we have ever produced; which won many awards and was considered the most popular advertisement in Sri Lanka at one point, did not generate the results one would expect from such fame. The main reason was that the marketing team had to replace the original product which the ad was developed for, with another due to a change in strategy. So the storyline did not have any relevance to the product that we were promoting.

Here is yet another excellent example of not being relevant from a global brand.

Remember the Evian Roller Baby commercial?

Everyone was raving about it. It had won many awards. And at 50 Million views Guinness Book of Records declared it the most viewed online advertisement in history, at that particular time.

Yet during the same period, Evian lost market share and sales dropped by 25% according to the book Contagious by Jonah Burger. Mainly because diaper-wearing babies were not relevant to the people who were purchasing high-priced water.

To me, the best commercial which marries creativity and relevance is the Ariston Aqualis commercial. You have to watch this commercial from the link below since for some strange reason the Youtube link for this commercial does not work.

Right from the very beginning, it captures your attention with unusual imagery. Yet you can see clearly it is to do with the washing of clothes. The metaphor of the sea highlights its core feature which is the ability to carry a huge load.

Creativity is a tool we use to ensure that our message cuts through the mass of clutter we experience in the world of media. However, creativity for creativity’s sake will not bring us the results we are looking for.

Unless we develop it using the framework of relevance our message might fall on deaf ears.