In this guest post, 72andSunny’s head of strategy Ross Berthinussen says everyone would benefit if design teams were more integrated into the advertising process…
A clear trend from the last few years is the move from clients working with Advertising and Design specialists to creative companies marrying the two.
Of course, there’s an argument for preserving specialist offerings. The two disciplines require distinct skill-sets, processes, some would argue, cultures.
Traditionally there’s been a reluctance from some of the Design community to move into the Advertising space, regarded as shallow or sensationalist. Focused on selling rather than the user, the short-term rather than the long-term.
And some within Advertising have turned their nose up at Design. For lacking in ideas or being overly theoretical. When Advertising agencies have branched out they’ve kept offerings separate, like the Monkeys and Maud or M&C Saatchi and RE.
Yet deeper creative collaborations are at the heart of crafting modern creative solutions and, like others moving into this space, we are energised by this opportunity.
We are learning as we go on this journey and here are some things to share as we collide the two worlds of specialists within our creative company.
Start with a brand idea
Brand ideas (slogans / tag-lines) are potent short-cuts to the meaning of brands, yet they are most often the responsibility of advertising agencies, developed separately from brand strategy or branding.
Not only does starting with a brand idea help brand strategies and branding projects land inside companies but they ensure that meaning isn’t lost when that brand’s shared with consumers.
A great example of this is Design Studio’s rebranding of airBnB. The idea, Belong Anywhere, acting as a north star for the project internally then growing to drive the brand externally, and really coming to life when you see the advertising that pours meaning into it.
No clumsy baton pass
The baton pass between Design and Advertising companies has more often than not been an awkward one. Much of the vision for the brand, and empathy with the consumer, is lost in the
handover. It’s not really even a handover, the vision of the design agency translated to brand guidelines, given to the client, briefed to the ad agency without real conversation or collaboration.
There are lots of bad examples of where this has been the case, but in the spirit of optimism we wanted to share a good one, in the recent work for Kathmandu from Special Group. You can feel the new brand identity, embedded in the communication work, in a way that perhaps you wouldn’t if it was created by two separate companies.
Think about brand building as you create the brand
We’ve found it powerful to have the team who will be responsible for growing the brand involved in the creation of that brand. It makes the branding exploration more thorough and ensures the advertising feels more coherent. In our humble opinion it also makes for better work out in the real world – more true to the core of the brand and business.
As an example of end to end brand creation, we love the redesign and advertising campaign by Universal Favourite, for the wine subscription service, Good Pair Days.
Modern communication needs a design system
Design expertise helps make advertising beautiful. Look at Frost*Collective’s work for Sydney Airport or Collin’s for Twitch or Vice.
Beyond that, the asset heavy, multi channel world of modern advertising needs more than beautiful ads. To create consistency over time and channels we need to think of it as a design system. A skill that is traditionally honed in design companies, not advertising agencies.
We hope you can feel the design influence, and system, that drives our recent work from the 72andSunny Sydney team for Byron Bay Brewery.
The efficiency of one team
Lastly, in an increasingly quick and financially efficient world, employing one team drives efficiencies in timelines and budgets that clients are demanding. No duplication of project management, no onboarding of new teams and the sharing of expertise, like broadly trained strategists, that can straddle both disciplines.
We can definitely see the value of this shift in the work we are doing, and hope the above helps others as they embark on the journey.
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