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

Judge An Agency On What Everyone Doesn’t Want To Work On …

This is an unashamedly big plug for the agency I am going to work at.

The wonderful Colenso.

And the best way to do that is to talk about a client I had when I was at Wieden.

When I was getting to know her, I asked why she had come straight to us rather than pitch the business like every other client seemed to do.

She said it was easy, if we could find a way to make people interested in butter [Lurpak] and milk [Cravendale] then she wanted to work with us.

What’s funny is when that piece of business first came in, it was not something that stoked the interest or passion of the creative department.

Butter? Milk? Pah!

And yet, because of the way they saw the creative opportunity for the brand, the openness of the client towards doing something new and the incredible way the idea was shot, it changed … to the point it is one of the campaigns people are hungry to work on.

I say this because Colenso recently did a campaign for Pedigree about dog adoption.

Now I get dog adoption may be more favourable to work on than butter or milk would be, but it probably would not be the first choice for many creatives.

And yet, like for Lurpak, it has become something special. A creative opportunity everyone wants to have a crack at. A client who now has a long history of great and effective work under their name. A category of advertising that has literally been turned on its head.

One of my favourites is this …

How lovely is that eh?

Well they recently launched a new campaign … however instead of this being about replacing kids, this was about preparing people for them.

In essence, they discovered a huge percentage of millennials were delaying parenthood.

While there are a whole host of reasons – all valid – the lovely folks at Colenso thought this was a great way to tackle their challenge, which was to position dog adoption as a great way to get you ready for being a Mum or a Dad.

Yes it’s tongue-in-cheek, but as a cat adopter, I can say it’s also true.

Though what really helped me get ready for Otis was running a strategy department in China.

I know I like chaos, but that was something else.

That aside, I love this work, and it’s another reason why Colenso just won agency of the decade for the 2nd time in a row.

Once is amazing.

Twice is incredible.

But twice in a row? Unprecedented.

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

Not just because I want to work at a place that loves creativity, but it means they hold, value and nurture their standards.

At a time where that is often the thing people will let go of to get money in, those who are stubborn to what they will let out the door are the places where everyone wants to get in the door. Because as the old adage says, it’s easier to get to the top than stay there.

23 Comments so far
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I’m still in shock about how nice you were to George yesterday.

Comment by Bazza

Even it is was mainly true.

Comment by Bazza

The bits about how annoying and silky Rob could get were definitely all true.

Comment by George

This is exactly why I turned comments off the post. You should see the email I got from Andy yesterday. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

You should have kept comments off every post then Rob.

Comment by Pete

Me as well. Robert knows how overwhelmed I was when I read it.

Comment by George

My first reaction reading it was he wants something from you.

Comment by Bazza

Thanks Baz. Thanks a lot. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

how the fuck do you think i feel? you lot were fucking flunkies. but it was my brilliance that did all the work and I dont even get a fucking mention. fuck this shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t know how you feel, but I can inform you that I feel rather pleased with myself.

Comment by George

I like this work. No sad dogs and music and an actual idea. This work shows Colenso must have a great relationship with the client, because you don’t get to this without both parties wanting to get to something great. It’s also real rather than award fodder. I hate to say it, but you will be so happy there.

Comment by Bazza

Very well said.

Comment by George

I know. ; )

Comment by Bazza

As much as I know great work for any client is hard to do, it is more difficult when it’s for a category that has rarely stepped out of its own little world. Lurpak is an excellent example. Butter was previously advertised as a condiment that made toast taste like heaven. When WK turned it into an ingredient that helped casual cooks feel like master chefs it changed everything. In the wrong hands that could still have been terrible, but WK sweat the details and turned it into an instantly recognisable and culturally accessible piece of brilliance.

Dog adoption is very different. It may have the emotional pull that Lurpak had to find, but it still is often communicated as “saving” a dog rather than building a family. I really like this work, especially as it is not a one off.

As Baz said, you will love it there and I think the feeling will be mutual.

Comment by George

Yes. 100% to all this. That’s why for me, the best way to judge an agencies real creative chops is by their ability to create interest, intrigue & energy in a category of indifference. Not for scam. Not for one singular client. not as a one off. But as a matter of how you operate.

Comment by Rob

I like this a lot. Sadly Baz and George have said everything I wanted to say. They spoil everything.

Comment by Pete


Comment by Bazza

The canine equivalent of selling picks and shovels during a gold rush. Just goes to show that smart marketing starts with smart business thinking.

As George is always showing you.

Comment by John

Twice agency of the decade. No pressure then.

Comment by John

why the fuck would he feel any pressure when he knows he always lands in a fucking pile of gold. its fucking sick.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m not speaking to you after yesterday’s post to George. #teamandy

Comment by DH

But I do like these ads.

Comment by DH

if youre on team fucking andy then stop being nice to team fucking campbell. traitor.

Comment by andy@cynic

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