I really didn’t want to go for yesterday’s D&AD event – it’s deadline, I still had a story to file and I was dressed in my best deadline-comfortable attire (read: shabby).
I was glad I went though, because I was blown away -- especially by Garrick Hamm’s talk right from the word go. It carried the dubious title of Inspirational talk on Creativity (I’m always cautious when it comes to titles that border on promising too much – it always hurts when presenters fail to meet the high expectations they’ve set up). But Garrick (that's him below) delivered.
For starters, he opened his presentation by offering an answer to the perennial question: how can creatives get clients to approve a creative idea? Bearing in mind I don’t have much space here, I’ll cut to the chase: show them the money. Because frankly, while they can argue with your creative idea, they can’t argue with results, facts and figures. And by results, it means increasing sales and profits into the double digit figure region.
The essential problem Garrick says, is that brands look too much alike. You line up all the bread brands available in Singapore and they’ll most probably look more or less the same, right? That’s the danger because that means there’ll be no brand loyalty and consumers can wander between the brands without having much of a connection. Why do brands look the same then? Because everybody copies each other, and during the brainstorming process, everybody comes up with the same vocab of how they want their brand perceived. Who doesn’t want their brand seen as being quality, value, and healthy? Not being different and not thinking differently will result in everyone getting the same results.
The solution, Garrick believes, lies in finding a brand truth and capturing it in a way that is unique and different, and he illustrated what he meant by showing numerous examples of what his agency, WMH, did for clients and in the process increasing their sales and profits. The end line he was putting across at the end of the session: “By doing something different, sales for (I forgot the name of this brand) went up 20%, we made them an extra £90m in profit. Difference is the way ahead. That’s one of the answers to the question of how do you get creativity through. You start to show them profits like that, you start to show them that actually not doing anything risky means that you’re never going to increase your sales,” Garrick said. What difference also means is you don’t deal with one digit growth, you deal in two. “That’s really what design and advertising should be about, really delivering significant growth.” Power stuff.
Garrick’s 6 tips to getting a client to approve a creative idea
1. Difference. Create something that is unique to your clients, something that they can own.
3. Bravery. We all need brave clients.
4. Judgement. Insight – Garrick doesn’t believe that the consumer is going to show the future, that’s the job of the advertiser. Consumers show where the gap in the market is.
5. BIG ideas.
6. A good idea=good business (profits and sales).