Picture the scene: A client presentation is occurring in the smartest boardroom of an Australian Ad Agency. The creative team stand up and with dramatic effect unveil their latest concept: animated figures dancing across the screen in-between bouts of brutal violence, all backed by a sugary sweet soundtrack. The creative team know they’ve presented something unusual, risky even, and sit down with baited breath.
The clients are Metro, and they are divided. An overwhelming ‘yes’ from the more junior brand manager, but an authoritative ‘no’ from her senior.
The creative team shuffle away, tails between their legs.
You may or may not have already guessed, but the concept in point went on to sweep the board at Cannes, Grand Prix after Grand Prix: Dumb Ways To Die. So who brought it back from the dead?
A passionate creative team, a ‘leading not led’ agency who know when to push for something they feel is right, and a junior client willing to take career- limiting risks.
You don’t win awards if you play it safe. In the UK we’re too polite, we treat creative concepts like bad service in restaurants, we know they may not be right but we’re too afraid to complain. Going with something that ‘does the job’ of answering the brief seems good enough. We need to push more boundaries, be riskier.
But it’s not all down to the agency either. Without a client who believes in breaking barriers, you ultimately reach a brick wall.
Words by Jo Birch