Seeing the bigger picture…

Posted on March 8, 2018




I came across this rather interesting meta approach for Oatly (an oatmeal drink) that definitely cuts through the conventional. While these posters won’t strike anyone as visually impressive – which is most certainly intentional – I think there is a lot to like about the thinking behind them, such as the recognition that the consumer gets advertising and is in on the rules. And that the objective of these posters clearly is to make people want to find out more, not by conveying a set of facts about the product, but by recognizing the power of difference in terms of how the brand shows up.

This kind of work won’t come about through a process that’s rigid, linear and formulaic, which, quite frankly many agency processes are.

While I believe it’s often very helpful for agencies to have a consistent methodology and framework, such as TBWA’s Disruption, I fundamentally believe that whatever methodology, framework or process you have, it must never be the only way to think about and ask questions about a marketing problem. You have to allow for ample flexibility and at the outset assess whether the methodology you have can accommodate the task at hand.

Every marketing problem is unique and needs to be treated as such.

Oatly’s creative work above is undoubtedly the result of a flexible and collaborative creative process, far from what I consider to be a template advertising process: “Brand X’s unique selling proposition is______________”, or “The purpose of Brand X is_______________, therefore__________”.

Don’t get me wrong, a consistent, marketable process can be highly practical, but having a creative philosophy – a POV on the type of creative work that you believe in – is rudimentary for any agency with its heart set on greatness.

Every agency needs to have a POV on the kind of creative work it believes in. One of my favorite examples of this is BBH’s belief that truly great, effective advertising often comes from a place of “irreverence”. John Hegarty does a wonderful talk on this, making numerous references to irreverence and its power throughout history. Watch it on youtube when you have a minute.

Photo credit: Leon Phang.

Posted in: Planning-related