The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

When You Know Humanity, Genius Ideas Happen …
March 30, 2007, 9:05 am
Filed under: Comment

While looking at a letter young Will has had printed in Campaign [well done mate], I spotted a letter by George Michaelides – one of the founding partners of Michaelides & Bednash – the Naked before Naked! [Sorry John – and Niku – but you know it’s true! Ha!]

Anyway, over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to work with these guys on a whole host of things and if I am being honest, their understanding of the consumer was so good that it often led to being the critical factor in moving campaigns from good to iconic [see Tango / Channel 4 / Pot Noodle]

However, whilst I am waxing lyrical about what these guys have done, this post isn’t actually about them … it’s actually about how important is is to truly understand and appreciate how the consumer thinks/acts/feels – not just interms of brand/account planning – but in every aspect of the communication process.

Without going on and on and on, I simply urge you to look at the letter below [with emphasis on the section highlighted] and see how REAL CONSUMER INSIGHT was turned into something that truly motivated a change in consumer action/opinion.

To me, this is a wonderful example of solving a clients business problem through the power of creativity.

It is the reason why we exist … the reason why [a few] communication agencies are miles ahead of management consultantcies and the reason why clients SHOULD not automatically disregard our abilities or influence. 

Brilliant isn’t it!

And this was not a one off in great thinking. Years ago Channel 5 bought some advertising hoardings at a European Football Match which was being shown on ITV.  On each one it said in big, bold letters, “The Match On Channel 5 Is Much Better”.

Genius …

If you want to be part of communication that infiltrates society and moves culture – then you have to remember that before jumping to the pretty pictures, the fancy words and the creative ideas – you should start with one little thing … human insight.

18 Comments so far
Leave a comment

All George’s are brilliant, but Michaelides is a bit more brilliant than most.

Fantastic post Rob and the Channel 5 “get in the television guide” was an inspired bit of brand-problem thinking. I wonder how many people in our industry would have thought of it?

Another great example of why planning should have a knowledge and input into all aspects of communication, not just be limited to a particular discipline.

When I see things like this, it makes me feel good about what we’re doing and what we teach and believe.

Comment by George

Great post as usual Rob.
Of course what you have written is obvious but it seems less and less agencies follow it. They all seem to have these processes that limit integration rather than encourage it and thats most likely why their work is boring, unimaginative and probably not as effective as it can or should be.
Its always the same, when a smaller, hungrier, smarter agency starts making inroads into the multinationals territory, they start accusing us of being too self indulgent with creativity, but we all know that’s rubbish because the likes of VW, Coke, Ikea, Virgin don’t come to us to make funny ads, they want us to make them wealthier and build some brand affinity and we can do it better than any of the majors.
I still can’t work out why agencies at a certain size lose all common sense and start becoming the opposite of what they said when they first began. So here’s to our collective union of small never getting too big.

Comment by Pete

It was a great bit of thinking, probably better thinking than the channel had content!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Unfortunately yes … hahaha

Comment by Rob

Yes. I watched the Jack Doherty show…

Im sure there is still a self help group for that one

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I did ads for that show …

Pity they were better than the show itself, ha!

Comment by Rob

Thanks for the praise mate; I thought the Channel 5 letter was great.

Comment by Will

You did? Haha, I wonder if there are any videos of them about…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Early days at Mother … I was young[er] and needed the money, hahaha!

Well done Will – really chuffed for you mate but you shouldn’t change your blog name, it’s representative of you, even if your situation has now changed.

If New York can get away with still being called ‘New’ after all this time, I think ‘Wannabeadman’ will be fine!

Comment by Rob

But that still isn’t as bad as when you had to do work for the Sunday Sport is it Mr Campbell?

Comment by Gavin Wright

Gavin Bloody Wright … how the hell are you? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you doing? Write to me at THIS INSTANT … this is simply brilliant news!

Comment by Rob

Sunday sport? Classy!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Cheeky bastard … but it gets worse because the sods sent me a life-sized cut out of the fattest ‘glamour’ model’ in the World.

I almost got sacked for putting that up.

Comment by Robert

I remember that story, luckily we never saw it!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Unfortunately it is burned on my mind. ARGH!

Comment by Rob

Must have been bad…

Mind you on some levels I respect the Sport; unlike most other papers it actually is totally honest about its own identity and what it stands for (quite literally *ahem*)

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Yes, I know what you mean … and whilst they were certainly one of the most fun clients I’ve ever dealt with, I’ll never feel really proud of what I did with them. ‘B52 Bomber On The Moon’ anyone? Ha.

Off home now so have a great weekend Mr M – and anyone else who passes by and reads my rubbish, ha

Comment by Rob

B52’s on the moon? Rock bloody lobster! 😀


Comment by Rob Mortimer

Leave a Reply