GETTING CREATIVE: Ephemeral vs. Evergreen

With Snapchat’s IPO garnering a lot of heat (but not necessarily light) both online and IRL, it’s a good time to step back, breathe deep, and ask one very important question for your brand or business:

What’s more important: Ephemeral or Evergreen?

The three B’s—Budget, Bandwidth, and Brand Relevance—have long been the primary limiting parameters for any marketing campaign. The challenge has always been to balance all three to achieve the biggest brand bang for the buck.

Enter the rise of ephemeral marketing (EpM).

Designed to be millennial sexy and take advantage of the currently hottest social media channels, ephemeral marketing is literally here today, and gone tomorrow. Think Snapchat. It takes FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and turns it up to 11. That is the strength of EpM—and its undeniable weakness.
Snapchat et al are the perfect channels for ephemeral products and their equally fickle audiences.

Fast food, fads, or fashion? Perfect.
Huge millennial audience? Worth thinking about as a part of your marketing mix.
Armed with a fat budget administered a fast-fingered digital team that is built to run at the speed of NOW! EpM might be good idea.

But what about the 90+ percent of businesses and brands that aren’t any of the above? That’s a rhetorical question you can answer yourself.

Cut back to the initial question:
Ephemeral or Evergreen?



Kylie Jenner is just so … ephemeral.

There are brands that are, and should be, pioneering the EpM space. But should you?
I’d rather have you focus on an ‘Evergreen’ marketing philosophy that embraces a tight brand discipline which prizes a consistent message consistently delivered over whatever ephemeral shiny object is the ‘It’ app of today. After all, wasn’t so long ago that we were all supposed to be ‘kicking butt on Vine.’ My favorite thing about that last link: the number of dead image references—which is exactly my point. Twitter bought Vine, then pulled ’em out by the roots.

What’s Evergreen?
Whatever marketing devices are always relevant to your brand, and consistently available to your customer.


Just one example of Evergreen marketing: Online video.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving. And the best part: it provides you visual and messaging elements that can be cut and re-cut into whatever length and style you need. A 60-second Instagram version. No problem. You have the elements, now just adjust the conceptual style to meet the platform, re-edit, and you’re good to go.

If there’s a longterm future for Ephemeral marketing, prove it.

“If all your friends jumped of a cliff, would you do it?” I used to hear that every time I did something ill-considered, or darn near life threatening. It’s an incredibly apt question to ask re: EmP too.
I’m not saying not to do it. But just like a 40+ year old Dad wearing skinny jeans, maybe it’s not the best fit for you, your brand, and especially, your marketing budget. And just because your brand doesn’t do it today doesn’t mean you can’t in the future once this nascent field has proven itself a little more—and in the only way that really matters: @ the cash register.
D.P. Knudten
Chief Collaborator

©2017 D.P. Knudten / COLLABORATOR creative – all rights reserved

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