In 2002, Seth Godin wrote a book called ” Purple Cow” in which he wrote “If you’re the same, you’re invisible”. To be honest, I couldn’t agree more. It’s an age old argument between client and agency and one that I’m sure will continue for decades, if not centuries, to come. But the landscape is changing. Agencies such as Jack in the box aren’t just presenting radical ideas with little substance. Adland is beginning to realise the importance of results and that key to all this is communication.

We have a saying around here – No Risk = No Glory. It’s true to say that we live that also. Risk is not a dirty word in our discussions in fact it is rewarded. Crazy ideas backed with strong strategic rationale that get clients attention AND results is essentially what we do but all too often the risk for the client is too great and ideas are all too often left on the cutting room floor.

In a market that is tightening, everyone is out to find the elusive ‘ dollar‘ that the guy next door is also having a go at. Marketing is usually the first victim of budgetary cuts and so starts the steady spiral into mediocrity and insignificance in the market place. Creativity and differentials are abandoned in place of stricter systems to avoid leakage while customer service is viewed as a luxury rather than a consumer’s right.

So what does the risk equate too? What is the cost of not being ‘ out there‘ in the market? Worse still, what is the cost of just being ‘ average‘ out there? The notion of advertising after all is being noticed so why on earth would you want to blend in??

Some of the best adverts are shocking, conversational, emotive and provocative. These are often key ingredients to a campaign’s success but they must be relevant to the subject matter. All to often we see great creative ideas with no real link to the product or the client…just a great idea, well executed with little to no value.

At the base of this article are 3 examples advertisements that I think meet the above criteria. Interestingly all of them rely on minimal or no copy and a strong brand.

So next time your agency comes to you with a concept that’s out of left field, that is risky and clever, don’t shoot them down. Assess the risk, get the rationale and an understanding of the concept, ask questions and become part of the solution. Lead your market…let the others follow.

Click on the image below to enlarge…