During a capabilities pitch a few years ago we were sharing our agency mission – To create inspiring ideas for courageous clients – when the potential client suddenly stopped us in our tracks saying, “I’m not sure we’re that.” This transparent confession threw us for a moment and ultimately ended our prospects with that particular client, but we are forever in her debt. She knew her company culture and ultimately spared us the demoralizing impact of a time and expense-sucking pitch for a client for whom we were ill suited.
When we crafted our agency’s mission we took Bernbach’s advice – “If you stand for nothing, you’ll find nobody against you – and nobody for you.” We were determined to not only describe what it is we do, but to be one of the few agencies to describe the kind of client for whom we wanted to do it – the “courageous” ones.
Continue reading “The Courage To Brand For The Long Run”
At Smith Brothers, our mission is to “Create inspiring ideas for courageous clients.” As students of the advertising business, and marketing in the CPG space in particular, we’re constantly on the lookout for work that not only impresses strategically and shines in execution, but that demonstrates some serious chutzpah on the part of the client who embraced it. We all know that too many clients err on the side of safe, hunkering down in the foxhole, afraid to lift their heads above the horizon line lest they have them blown off by senior management. Courage these days doesn’t come easy.
In this blog series, we will hold up those recent CPG marketers who should be recognized not only for their smarts, but for their bravery. Whether it’s eschewing the norms of a category, diving into uncharted waters in the digital space, committing big budgets to brand new platforms or just doing jaw-dropping creative, we will identify those brands that we think took a little more risk and stood a little taller than the field – those we think deserve a salute. Continue reading “It’s Smart As Hell, But Is It Truly Courageous?”
It was probably inevitable: as digital marketing exploded and created the opportunity for hyper-targeting, more and more agencies have emerged as specialists within each new media channel. These specialists have littered the CPG landscape with sexy propositions leaving brand groups everywhere vulnerable to what I like to call “agency creep.”
Continue reading “Clean Out Your Agency Closet”
About a month ago, I was rushing around my local supermarket in preparation for guests that were due at my house within the hour. But suddenly I was stopped dead in my tracks in the chip aisle.
Doritos Brand recently brought back my favorite flavor that had disappeared from shelves years ago. But what made the resurrection inescapable for me was that they re-introduced Taco Flavor in the original orange and yellow packaging (complete with ‘70s game show logotype) which was so seared into my subconscious from all those years ago.
Continue reading “Sometimes the Best Thing to do for Your Brand is Nothing At All.”