Nothing Will Change If We Always Do The Same

These are our words, our mantra.


And in a world where consumers can see and hear up to 5000 ads a day but only remember one, it’s more important than ever to think differently and creatively, especially when working with a small budget.


So hold on tight, because we’re going to make you feel uncomfortable…but in a good way.


By Alex Fone and Sarah Beane

Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results“.

We see this often in marketing and advertising. After all, we can all be wary of change. Sometimes being creative and taking an alternative approach can feel like a ‘high risk’ strategy. But by acting differently and standing out, we can engage consumers in a different kind of dialogue and rise above competitors’ loud voices.

Being the black sheep and embracing change can be scary...but great.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Unilever states:

There is no need for any further debate; it is simply evident that more creative communications undeniably drive more successful outcomes.

He’s not the only one seeing the link between creativity and effectiveness. At the IPA Effectiveness Awards, a staggering 72% of winners had campaigns that were driven by emotion.

So how can we embrace difference? Here are our six ways to make the change.

1. Be different

This is the Dog House, created for the launch of the canine antiepileptic drug Pexion at the BSAVA. We broke conventional exhibition rules by closing off the stand, putting a guard on the door and creating an interior that messed with visitor’s senses and gave them an insight into the life of an epileptic dog.

We changed the rules for exhibition stands by creating The Dog House.

The result of our rule breaking? A queue around the stand waiting to get in!

The Dog House continued to be discussed long after the event. This was because it was a memorable and differentiating experience.

2. Be entertaining

For one dollar a month, you can have a brand new razor from The Dollar Shave Club. But when they had virtually no budget and were up against the behemoths of Procter & Gamble (the owner of Gillette) and Unilever, what did they do? They made this:

This video cost $4500 dollars to produce. But in two days, they’d gained over 12,000 subscribers. This ad now has over 23 million views on YouTube.

Then in July, barely four years after the ad came out, Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club. The price? $1 billion.

3. Support a cause

A staggering 91% of millennials will consider switching brands if a cause they support is involved. The rest of the population isn’t exactly curmudgeonly, with 85% willing to do the same.

So it’s no wonder that cause related marketing has grown in popularity. When Ceva approached us with the challenge of marketing their delicious, pet friendly antibiotics in a price-sensitive market, we knew that we had to do something different.

The news often reports on antibiotic resistance

We chose to focus on the very real issue of antibiotic resistance. This was when we suggested that Ceva ignore their competitors and join the cause instead.

We changed Ceva's approach to sales by discussing the problem

Here’s what Ceva had to say:

It’s really caught peoples attention…it’s given us the opportunity to speak to customers and explain our positioning. We’re planning on donating the money raised to charity, which will allow us to raise the company profile in this market.

4. Be unexpected

In 2015, our young creatives won the inaugural IPA PIP Award for young talent. They responded to a notional brief from the Angelus Foundation to raise awareness of the dangers of legal highs and after winning, were able to work with the charity to turn the concept into a reality. They found that instead of lecturing the message, it was better to sell it to an audience that had the ‘invincibility of youth’.

5. Know your audience

When Ferring asked us to update the campaign for their growth hormone treatment, Zomacton, we realised there were several potential audiences for this campaign:

  • Doctors who prescribe growth hormone
  • Nurses supporting patients and their families
  • Parents who can cajole and their kids

But the most important? The children themselves.

This was a radical departure from what had come before, but when we tested the new concept, we found that it had a greater traction, was something the nurses loved and crucially…engaged children in their treatment.

6. Above all, be brave

 And don’t do this.

Credit to Dave Anderson for this image. We have it framed on our wall.

Credit to Dave Anderson for this image. We have it framed on our wall.

Interested in what we can do? Well, here’s a list of refreshing, imaginative and original ideas waiting for brave owners:

Battery anxiety

Flea circus

The movement

The lick of love

The Game

One of the family

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