NKanyezi Masango, creative director, Y&R Cape Town began his session titled 'Opportunity in difficulty' on day two of Ad Stars 2015 quoting Winston Churchill: "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
The speaker went on the describe the nature of difficulties an agency faces, especially in a developing part of the world. He said, "Difficulties present themselves in various ways in our industry. It could be a ridiculous budget, an insane deadline that seems impossible. If we approach these as opportunities rather than difficulties we will find that the way of thinking could be more inventive."
He spoke of some of the agency's work which fell into the category of ideas which were produced under difficult circumstances or had been just very difficult to produce.
Hope Soap (to raise awareness about preventive hygiene in South Africa)
"This project was made successful but for us the reward is that it has now become a legitimate sustainable business and its now creating jobs in the communities the Hope Soap is distributed."
More bang for buck
"We have a classic problem", Masango noted. "In South Africa, clients come to us everyday asking us (to work) for less money. And often creatives feel that this limits their creativity but I believe that sometimes when the budget is smaller, it will force you to think a lot more creatively. For the following client (Land Rover), if we would've had a better budget I don't think we would've come up with an idea so simple."
Land Rover Genuine Parts – Crocodile
Land Rover Genuine Parts – Lion
He cited 'Webtropolis' which was created for Land Rover as an example of a piece of creative work, creating which threw up many challenges at the execution level but with the end result 'being worth the effort'.
The creative also touched upon radio. He termed it as a medium 'which allows you to really get into the art of writing'. He cited Land Rover's 24 Hour Roadside Assist radio spots as examples. He mentioned that these were created by a team comprising an engineer, a copywriter and voice artist, highlighting that there are times when creating a good piece of communications 'does not require too many cooks in the kitchen'.
Masango pointed out instances where brands sometimes choose to give way certain articles to their customers as a memento etc. These items, he said, are usually of no real use to the consumer most of the time. He suggested that such instances are opportunities for brands to capitalise and give something of utility to the consumers.
Here's what Land Rover chose to do:
He further spoke about Operation City Smart, which works in collaboration with Cape Town's local police, to curb crimes such as pick-pocketing, ATM scams, shoe scams and such.
"As creators we spend a lot of energy in just coming up with ideas but I think we have ways of using our creativity to raise awareness, solve problems and address issues. I think we can go beyond just advertising and be a bit more natural in how we approach issues," he contended.
Substantiating this point was the case of Edward Snell and Company's 'Reflector Protector' initiative:
Masango surmised, "Ultimately, the secret is that difficulty helps produce successful work."
(The journalist was in Busan on the invitation of Ad Stars and hosted by organisers.)