Having Guts a Coherent Policy for Brands by Sarah Hall CEO
The word policy is rarely applied to the creative fields — we prefer to think descriptors that are more aligned with terms like vision, innovation, game changer and the like. In a field where million dollar decisions are often made by young men in cardigans who make the long commute to offices with ping pong kegs and nerf guns from far off lands like Bushwick and Williamsburg — it’s not hard to imagine why.
It’s also in many ways not their fault that their default response to any brand problem is to break the mold, design a new campaign, create a game changing activation — relentlessly pursue the new. When you are in your twenties it can be difficult to imagine the value of a legacy, that anything can come of an institutionalized, long-term approach to a campaign. But unfortunately it is and always has been the very thing that most brands desperately need and require support maintaining.
In an age where agencies provide the eternal what’s new and what’s next — we would like to be something different. Return to a time that feels like, but in the scope of human commerce isn’t, that long ago when agencies were brand stewards and managers. When they made a commitment to their clients to safeguard the integrity of a brand and it’s message against the passage of time and the capricious whims of the consumer.
We were struck the other day when reviewing one “the greats”, David Ogilvy’s, old previously unpublished papers where he says
“I have come to believe…that every advertisement must be considered as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image. And I find that if you take that long-term approach, a great many of the day to day creative questions answer themselves.”
We believe this too. In an age where too many things are wiped away in an effort to “get that viral hit to cut through the noise” we are in danger of forgetting that this isn’t about one popular video or one great activation, this is about building a legacy. Any great brand will exist for decades if not centuries through changes in leaderships, advances in technologies and the rise and fall of various social media platforms.
Because of this, we wish to play a role with our clients that is one of a steward, a historian and a builder. Designing solutions that cross the divide between engagement and business strategy. Doing the essential work of linking the need to communicate with the financial imperatives of the brand using unique creative, strategic thinking and solid tactics that add to and create a coherent long term creative policy.
Because after all…
“What guts it takes, what obstinate determination, to stick to one creative policy, year after year, in the face of all pressures “to come up with something new” every six months”
And we believe that we have the guts, the patience and the vision to take you from year to year on your journey to becoming a strong, legacy brand.
Please check out our website at www.harleyandcompany.com.
Also if you have something interesting to tell us submit your thoughts to email@example.com.