20th century advertising icon Bill Bernbach once said: “creativity is the last unfair advantage we’re legally allowed to take over our competitors”.
Fast-forward to 2020 and this sentiment is still just as relevant.
In Episode 4 of Rethink, a podcast by Think with Google, host Rachel Corbett explores the modern battle of creativity and finds out why some of Australia’s top advertisers are taking a ‘brave’ approach to their creative to ensure they stand out in ‘a sea of sameness’.
In the episode Corbett speaks with BMF creative director David Fraser, who has been responsible for the hilarious – and extremely memorable – Aldi ads that have graced our screens in recent times.
His philosophy on standing out is relatively simple.
“You’ve just gotta put yourself on the other side of the screen and go, ‘what’s going to grab me?’,” he told Corbett.
“I see it as a bit of a trade, you’re asking people to give you 30 seconds – give them something in return.”
Also joining Corbett to discuss Aldi’s creative is BMF group strategy director Kinga Papp.
While coming up with memorable creative is one thing, using relevant information to make sure this material is relevant for the intended audience is another, she explains.
“There’s a difference between data and insights and Aldi, I think, is particularly good at insights and always pushes us to go further,” Papp said.
“So, what we do particularly well and what we are very, very passionate about is knowing the customer and having really clear insight and very true insight about the customer – that’s when we can give David and his team something genuinely valuable.”
A numbers game
Using the example of Aldi’s recent ‘Precedented Prices’ ad, Fraser adds that these insights were used to reflect how everyone was feeling about the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It captured the zeitgeist at the time,” he said. “I think it captured what everyone was feeling and I think that’s where [marketers and agencies] can look at the data, what people are doing and [find] that little connection point.”
Data has served as a tool for Aldi when it comes to shaping the perfect message.
For buy now pay later service Klarna – which only recently entered the Australian market – data is a way to understand a new audience.
Klarna’s marketing director Andrea Darling told Corbett how the brand used data to create this catchy and effective Australian campaign.
“You really use the data to steer you,” she said.
“We all know that in lockdown, everybody shifted to a digital world, social and online blew up, so it wouldn’t have made any sense to be anywhere else but in those channels. We’re a new business.
“We don’t have a huge customer base of our own, so we need to go where people are playing you know, pay to play. And that’s what we did. We just figured out where could we be the most disruptive with the largest audience and really make our presence felt.”
While data can help marketers deliver the right message to the right audience, there is still the need to produce creative that is memorable.
Speaking in this episode of Rethink, Google Australia and NZ head of creative development Fiona Walford encourages marketers to be “more different versus more the same”.
“Creativity is really the last unfair business advantage you can have,” she said, in reference to the famous Bernbach quote.
“And I think that is true more than ever right now. Don’t shy away from it, embrace it, have some fun with it and make it memorable.”
She argues that the best results come when creativity is backed by bravery and insights.
“We know creativity is hard. It does require bravery and we were sort of saying, push beyond that, but just be as informed in your decisions about it as you possibly can be,” Walford continued.
“Mine that information, mine that data, mine those insights to make sure that it does make sense. It’s the perfect exemplification of all of that thought process.”
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