"Solving problems with creativity has never been more relevant in society as a whole."
This is the most important question to ask of any idea that’s designed to build a brand or solve a problem today. Why will anyone actually give a damn about it? If it doesn’t give people value, entertain, get people talking and acting (ideally all of the above), then it will most likely be ignored. When you believe hand on heart that an idea will make people feel something and they’ll genuinely care about it, then I’ve found it often has a way of creating a larger cultural conversation. I get super inspired when I see brands launch ideas that take on a life of their own because they strike a chord with people and build on something that is important to them.
Traditionally in marketing there wasn’t a lot of cross over between the ambitions of growth and doing good in society. Overall these have existed as two separate missions. But what I think is one of the most exciting areas of marketing emerging today is where brands are investing in creating ideas that build their business through the very act of doing good in society. One of my favorite companies is Patagonia, which as an Australian who lived in New York for several years, basically kept me alive during the winter months. But beyond the quality of their products they are a brand that have an authentic human purpose woven into their DNA. From initiatives like ‘Worn Wear’, helping the environment or ethical and sustainable production, people don’t just buy into Patagonia as a brand but as a set of values and way of doing things. Another example that made big cultural headlines recently was for the P&G brand ‘Always’, who reinvented what it meant to do things ‘#Like a Girl’. As a champion of giving young women confidence, I liked how this idea struck a chord with people in a way that built on their purpose while creating a positive conversation for young women around the world.
"If it doesn’t give people value, entertain, get people talking and acting (ideally all of the above), then it will most likely be ignored."
3. Inventions and Intellectual Property
When you set out with a goal to create ideas that people care about, it often has a way of leading to ‘things’. Tangible platforms, products and events that people can use and engage with. It’s not to say that a simple film or piece of communication couldn’t achieve a marketing goal on its own, but when a thing is the right solution, it’s exciting that it can be evolved and grown over time. As an example, at M&C Saatchi Australia we work with Optus which is one of Australia’s largest telecommunications networks. With the goal to promote the reach of the Optus network, the team invented a new product called the ‘Clever Buoy’, which is the world’s first shark detecting buoy. It can detect sharks swimming close to beaches and alert lifeguards of their presence – which goes without saying is something that any Australian values. It’s also far more environmentally friendly than traditional shark preventions methods like nets at beaches, which can harm marine life. In partnership with Optus and Marine technology firm ‘Shark Mitigation Systems’, the Australian Government just committed to five years investment to help roll the Clever Buoy out at beaches around Australia. This is another exciting space for creative companies to be moving towards as partners in products that can build equity for a brand but also positive value for communities and society over time.