No brand will ever be perceived as a leader if it mimics the actions and approaches of its competitors. Similarly, our agency will never be perceived as a leader unless our creative product is more innovative and effective than other alternatives. This requires a united effort from everyone.
We quarrel with the notion that there are “creative” people at an agency who reside in one corridor, department or floor. It implies that others within the agency are entitled to be “non-creative.”
Here, the creative process embraces the way we plan, present and buy media, and forge a relationship with our clients. It is most certainly exemplified in our most visible, tangible product – the commercials and print ads we create for our clients’ brands. Consequently, there are special demands and responsibilities placed upon the creative leaders, copywriters, art directors, and producers at this agency. They are expected to challenge conventional wisdom. They are encouraged to devise new, original ways to connect with consumers. They are to be trusted in matters of campaign development and creative judgement. Those judgements do not happen by whim. There is a philosophical underpinning at MISC that shapes our assessment of superior creativity.
In a nutshell:
We are dedicated to creativity with a purpose. The goal is results. The way we get there is with insight and creativity that goes beyond the expected.
It’s the excitement of selling. To achieve that goal, there are components of creativity we find particularly useful and universal.
They have to do with:
Here are our beliefs about each of these characteristics: The core of great advertising is an own-able benefit. Brands may offer a bundle of strategies… but their real leverage lies in a single-minded differentiating benefit. Brands are benefit delivery systems. And the brands bound for leadership stake out the biggest, most relevant benefit available. The biggest ideas are surprisingly simple. A great creative idea breathes life into the strategy and gives the insight wings to fly. A big idea cannot masquerade as a production technique or a style. It is a powerful, unifying thought that gives the entire communication focus… both in initial impression and repeated exposure. Nothing will ever happen unless an ad has impact. The best way for an ad to have pulling power is to ensure it has stopping power. Of course, you can gain someone’s attention with artificial devices. It’s done every day with riotous language, discordant music and wild, shocking visuals. But it’s far more effective to gain someone’s attention with relevance.
The difference is dramatic. Instead of resenting the intrusion, our audience appreciates the impact – and the appropriate message that follows. Involve someone in the message, and they’ll help sell themselves. Our executions need to engage the head and the heart, capture the imagination, and move someone from being a passive audience to a participant in the message.
We believe in stories.
We believe in humor.
We believe in human theater.
Our best work dramatizes in human terms why someone needs the brand.
The viewer deserves to be rewarded in beyond-the-expected ways.
People are busy.
To hold our audience, we need to reward them for every second they spend with our message. The craft of our ads should not only be pleasing, it should provide fresh, thoughtful and original images.
Production values should not only capture the concepts integrity but elevate it in magical – and even mysterious – ways. Surprise is often underestimated. Linked to a brand in a positive way, it can have big payoffs. It’s not creative unless it sells. Our creative work should make something happen. Someone should feel better about the brand. Or give it a second chance. Or want to try it. Or put it in their consideration set. It’s not enough to simply make a splash, and hope for the best.
As an agency, we are dedicated to helping brands become leaders. Creative work that ultimately moves boxes and shifts attitudes is the surest way to get there. Innovation is one of the most misused terms in the corporate world, all too often used to describe an outcome or end point: the launch of a new product, the development of a new piece of tech.
The reality is innovation is not a thing but rather the process for uncovering the thing or things that deliver value in people’s lives. It’s the doing. It’s the cultural shift toward risk appetite and experimentation. It’s the act of involving customers throughout the design process to inform decision making and, more importantly, having the systems in place to adapt and make changes in line with their expectations.
Wrong. Unfortunately, while this all sounds sensible, and I’m sure familiar to some, the reality is it’s rarely done well. There’s a reason businesses are in business. Put simply, they’ve found some kind of product/market fit. They have paying customers, revenue, and market share—and in most instances are profitable. Over time, they form muscle memory. Habits and ways of working embed themselves, along with KPIs and incentives, that encourage employees to maintain the status quo instead of exploring new possibilities.
Last year’s saw a record level of venture capital pour into startups: startups with new and innovative business models; startups that are more-nimble and adaptive to opportunities; startups that are obsessed with better serving the customers of legacy businesses. In turn, customer expectations have become impossibly high, leaving corporations forced to continuously innovate and reinvent. And it’s here that the innovator’s dilemma lies: the tension between maintaining the mothership and exploring the new, between short-term tactics to hit next month’s sales target and long-term transformations to meet the future expectations of customers. This is the challenge. This is where innovation not only slows down but finds itself on a knife’s edge, waiting to die.
Having said all of this, it’s not all doom and gloom. MISC works to find the ways to remove the roadblocks—to allow innovation to flow through the veins of the organization and thrive.