An agency in 2018 needs to be really good at pitching. That’s it. That’s pretty much the basic to an agency/client relationship these days. But you’ll need to go through the most ridiculous, wasteful, time-consuming and pointless way for clients to find your agency.
Firstly, ask yourselves; Clients, do you really want a new agency? Agencies, do you really want the new business? It costs a large amount of money, and wastes weeks of time. All of which agencies must recoup from their only source of revenue – their clients. Paul Kitcatt, CEO of Kitcatt & Croke, hilariously compares this process to that of buying a car that hasn’t been invented yet;
“If we bought a car in a similar fashion, we’d ask six manufacturers to show ideas for a range of cars they’ve never made, to do things no car has ever been asked to do, from materials that don’t exist, designed like no car known to man, at a cost no car could ever be made for. Not only to show the ideas, but to make the cars, at least as prototypes. Then we’d choose one manufacturer, but buy none of the cars they’ve shown, but something completely different. And the rest would get thrown away.”
Are we serious here with this pitch? Does the client really want a new agency? And the agency, do you really want this piece of business? I mean, really want it. Okay let’s do it. But let me tell you a thing…
“When the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the industrial designer has failed. On the other hand, if people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient, or just plain happier, by contact with the product, then the designer has succeeded.”
Henry Dreyfuss, famous American industrial designer responsible for heaps of the twentieth century’s iconic products, said this in his classic text ‘Designing for People’. But unlike Dreyfuss’ designs, it doesn’t reflect the era it was written in. The title itself supports the idea that even though tools and ideas change, and our understanding of design transforms, the goal is constant; ‘design still exists to make people’s lives better’.
Consumer needs and expectations are constantly changing, so it comes as no surprise that companies would invest more and more into ensuring their products are being designed for, and through a consumer focused lens.
Take for instance, your last shopping or dining experience; How would you rate it? And under what criteria are you rating it? Were you greeted when you walked in? Offered assistance in a timely manner? How long was the wait for a table or to check out? Did your favourite waiter remember your name?
Now think of your last online experience; how was the website designed? Was it easy to find the information that you need? Did you manage to check out efficiently? Or share your experience on social?
When you break down a transaction into steps such as these you are stepping into the mind of a User Experience (UX) Designer. It’s about finding the shortest route. The end consumer is constantly trying to find the shortest route; to work, to the shops, to solve a problem, to purchase an item. In this digital day and age, we have become increasingly impatient people.
There have been many iconic ad campaigns over the past century, but “one campaign did much more than boost sales and build a lifetime of brand loyalty. It’s the 1960s ad campaign for the Volkswagen Beetle. The ad, and the work of the ad agency behind it, changed the very nature of advertising–from the way it’s created to what you see as a consumer today” (Odgen). To say “Think Small” in regards to a car in 1959 was revolutionary. Most American car ads at the time were created with the idea that bigger was better. But Volkswagen never backed down from a startling, risky strategy. And it worked out pretty damn well for them. Their ad agency was Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), with the legendary Bill Bernbach leading the creative department.
Having previously studied a film culture course, and producing a few essays on the ideas of symbolism, metaphor, symmetry, contrast, rule of thirds, exposure, depth of field and composition, I felt as though I had at least a good understanding of what goes into the creation of film and the ideas that a filmmaker puts forward.
But on the other hand, as a self confessed avid lover of movies, I thought I would have a better understanding of the actual work that goes into the production of film, or even a scene. I felt like I was confident and it was relatively easy enough to be able to produce a piece of work that portrayed those ideas, but it was a lot harder than it looks.
In the tradition of the popular Thinkbox series of shorts that explore some of the greatest TV advertisements in the company of leading Creatives ‘who know a thing or two about making them’, I’ve decided to put forward my own three choices of great advertisements that I had nothing to do with. Now, I’m no Chief Creative Officer of a huge agency, but I feel like I still know a good ad from a bad one. So here goes.
In the age of digital television recorders, advertisement skipping, product placement, overlay ads, Google and pretty much the internet in general, making a TVC stand out above the rest has become tough. Attention spans have shortened, and the point now is to make a TVC that instantly grabs attention and is genuinely engaging. I’ve selected three TVCs that have recently inspired me in my journey through studying advertising; brilliant commercials, old and new, that I admire. (Oh and by the way, if you’ve never heard of it, check out advert.ge on Facebook – absolutely brilliant page constantly posting great TVC’s from around the globe.)
It was fantastic to have Katherine Newton and Anastasia Symons, campaign manager and social media coordinator from the mental health organisation RUOK? in class today to brief the class on developing some future campaign ideas using Snapchat. The project briefing was conducted as part of a guest lecture and recorded as podcast from the digital media strategist Dan Wilkinson from HotnDelicious: Rocks the Planet.
Watch this space to see what we come up with by the end of the trimester!