“Why don’t we just film it on a phone?”
The search for disruption
It’s easier for start-ups to be disruptive; they are required to create new and sustainable business models, but are small enough to react where necessary. Nevertheless, established players also need to reinvent themselves if they want to stay relevant to consumers’ constantly-evolving needs. It’s up to agencies to position themselves as experts when it comes to their clients’ markets and lead them to initiate changes with new technologies.
Creativity, and therefore disruption, isn’t a discipline. It’s a survival mechanic.
The power of disagreement
A transparent relationship between the client and the agency, and therefore constructive disagreement, helps achieve great work. As Heineken explained during its keynote, storytelling exists because of tension; in every story there’s a disruptive element leading to the adventure and the conclusion. Without tension there’s no happy ending.
Disagreement is a great asset because different points of view come together, creating debates, changing perspectives and generating ideas. Brands like Heineken value disagreement and urge their agency to challenge them to produce unexpected and catchy campaigns.
In a campaign designed make moderation “cool”, they made several commercials in which the main characters choose water over Heineken. The brand’s strategy first triggered backlash, but soon generated a lot of positive feedback as the message was realised.
Agencies must completely understand the brand they work for when giving strong opinions. Understand the client pain points, not just the creative pain points, because then you can suggest out-of-the-box concepts.
Boldness as a factor
The biggest enemy to creativity is risk, said Richard Parkinson, Text100’s Global Creative Director during his keynote. Don’t be scared to make mistakes, it’s this approach that allows us to achieve success!
When companies begin, they’re more willing to take risks if they’re justified, but as the company grows, their initial purpose tends to disappear. Taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone can mean rethinking the brand’s purpose entirely.
Take Suntrust for example; Krista Massey, Senior Vice President, Marketing Activation and Engagement explained that as long as they were small, they dared to be bold, but lost it when they began to grow. It took the 2008 financial crisis for them to take a step back, and spend three years rethinking their purpose.
Finally, SunTrust positioned themselves as the player helping people manage their money and reduce financial stress. They launched the OnUp platform that provides free tools and resources to people to help them reach their financial goals.
As a result, their SunTrust’s marketing is no longer about the product; but about something deeper. A risky and bold move, but one worth taking.
So being bold allows us to achieve successful creative ideas, but agencies must keep in mind that timing is everything.