For the past 60 years, marketing wisdom has dictated that paid media – notably the 30-second TV spot – has had priority over all other aspects of brand-building. The limitations of the TV spot have dominated both media plans and the collective marketing mindset.

This has led to a state of reductive, or simplified, thinking in marketing, focused on “how can we tell the story quickly” and “how can we reduce brand meaning down to its most singular expression?”.

Does this approach make sense in the digital age? In this report, we argue that brands now need to ditch the abstraction and focus on authentic purpose, putting owned media first.

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