Brand Personality Goes A Long Way

Consider the famous exchange from Pulp Fiction in which Jules and Vincent debate the rationality of abstaining from pork. Jules just doesn’t dig on swine, that’s all, because they’re basically dirty, like dogs.

VINCENT:     Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?

JULES:          I wouldn’t go so far as to call a dog filthy, but they’re definitely dirty. But, a dog’s got personality. Personality goes a long way.

VINCENT:     Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?

JULES:          Well, we’d have to be talkin’ about one charming #@$#%& pig.
Indeed, we would have to be talking about one charming #@$#%& pig. Sure, people can “like” a brand. But most people don’t really like brands. Brands need to be more charming. For that, they need personality. Without it … well, we wouldn’t call them dirty. Just invisible. Like a ship passing in the night, to quote our founder.

In fact, I think to feel human might be the greatest feat a company can pull off. But letting your “you” come through is not an easy switch to throw. It takes knowing the central truth about your offering, and identifying the one cultural tension it can speak to. It takes a team of smart, honest people leading the dialogue.

And it takes a social platform that helps these people shine. To be personable is to be in dialogue. The consistency of traditional media is critical, but social media offers opportunities to be carefully inconsistent, like all humans. How? For starters, by not yammering about yourself all day. By listening. By developing a dynamic social cadence that steps away from your textbook tweets, and dabbles in your fans’ interests and even their voice.

Maybe then they will a) always know what to expect and b) be pleasantly surprised at the same time. Charm can run the gamut, from funny to sincere to Arnold on Green Acres. Some varied examples, below.


Published by

Jacques Oury

A digital strategist/account director with Ogilvy PR's 360 Digital Influence team, Jacques actually hails from the agency’s creative ranks. During his three-year tenure as an associate creative director in the Ogilvy creative jungle, he led teams on integrated campaigns for IBM, Scott Safety, Old Dominion Freight Line, and Hilton Head Island, and lent his writing skills to British Airways, Coke, Kodak and other global brands. A conceptual and strategic thinker and a writer by trade, Jacques has helped guide clients through national and global rebrands and digital integration across every medium. After fifteen years of writing award-winning ad campaigns for clients big and small, Jacques has both a strong belief in the power of brands and a general lustfulness for well-crafted creative work. Working with our DI team out of our Durham, NC office, Jacques is focused on translating that expertise from "campaigns" to "conversations." Jacques received his bachelor's degree from Boston College. A native of San Diego, Jacques is now raising his two 'tweens in North Carolina, running as many marathons as his knees will allow and learning how to cook.