The Value of Backing and Buying Creative Work
Insights from Phil Rumbol
Wednesday 8th February
08:30 to 10:30
Free to attend, all welcome.
It’s a privilege when people notice, admire and respond to work we do. Unlike us folk from the world of marketing communications, people don’t deconstruct or spend time analysing the “whys” or “what fors”. They simply respond. Or they don’t. And more often than not, they don’t. Or, at least, not to the extent that we wish they would. One person who has enjoyed the privilege of getting people to respond strongly to his work is Phil Rumbol, the client who “bought” the Cadbury Gorilla idea.
The Cadbury Gorilla ad is a seminal piece of work that people responded to. It made them smile and marvel because it was a piece of work that was created to make people feel joyous. It also made the brand famous amongst younger impulse purchasers and increased Cadbury’s return on investment figure fourfold. People loved it despite ,or perhaps because of, its lack of convention. The usual cue of someone munching happily on a chocolate bar to signal taste was refreshingly absent. There wasn’t much logic to the idea either: it was a Gorilla playing drums for crying out loud! Yet, never had something felt so human. But it was one tricky beast to get made.
The Cadbury Gorilla was disruptive. Because it was disruptive, it didn’t fit the mould of the approval processes we all know and dread. It famously failed pre-campaign testing. Yet, thankfully, the Gorilla prevailed because Phil Rumbol wasn’t afraid to use his imagination, his gut feel. But words like “gut feel” and “imagination” are problematic because they bypass so much of the rationalising and analysis we use to assess and sell ideas. It’s not just a client issue, it’s an agency one too. Yet, and the irony should not be lost on us, the work we create needs to feel intuitive and rouse precisely those very “gut feelings” to get reaction. Thanks to work such as Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow”, we know that people are much more inclined to assess practically all matters on gut feel and intuition much more than on facts and reason.
So words like “gut feel” and “intuition” should play some (note, I don’t say all) role in the processes we use to develop and critique our ideas. Except that’s rarely the case. How we sell and buy creative ideas is a direct outcome of the type of process that’s in place. And it’s a sad fact that dumb process often kills intelligent ideas. The Cadbury Gorilla is useful in getting us to question the parameters used to buy and sell creative. And to ask ourselves: how fit for purpose are they really to give ideas their best chance?
Sinead Cosgrove will MC this discussion with Phil Rumbol on getting great creative work made.
Prior to co-founding 101, Phil Rumbol, spent more than 20 years as a client. Whilst Marketing Director at Cadbury and InBev he won Cannes Lions and Marketing Society Grand Prix awards for campaigns such as Cadbury ‘Gorilla’, the social media return of Wispa, and Stella Artois “Reassuringly expensive." A Fellow of The Marketing Society and Board Trustee of The Marketing Academy, Phil was tempted to make the leap to agency side by the prospect of building a company dedicated to creatively-led business transformation. Married with two teenage sons, Phil is passionate about his music and ‘enjoys’ cycling up steep hills near his home in the Chilterns.
Sinead Cosgrove is Planning Director at Chemistry, an independent advertising agency, where she is responsible for developing communication strategies for brands such as Lidl, The Irish Cancer Society, Club Orange, Danone, Tesco Mobile and Bord Na Móna. Since studying Languages and achieving a Masters in Communication Studies, she has been in Advertising for over 18 years, working on many high profile campaigns which have been awarded for their effectiveness and creativity. Sinead advises brands and companies across diverse categories and sectors, and has trained in the UK to the highest professional standard in her field. Sinead believes great ideas risk getting lost in translation because the process used for approval often fails to give them their best chance.
This event is free to attend but registration is required.