What’s the payoff for taking creative risks?
For this week’s blog, we are going to be focusing on creative risks. All campaigns must start with the first question: what are your goals? There are times when taking creative risks will not pay off or lead to the results you want. Typically creative risks are taken at the conception of a company entering the market, if they want to disrupt the industry or if there’s a culture shift. Brands that take the time to step out of the box and away from what everyone else was doing to create something memorable often find themselves ahead of the curve. Our team has always steered away from the trend traps, knowing that they won’t make the lasting impacts that we want for our clients. It’s important to note that creative risks can come in the form of your imagery, messaging, values, etc., not just the artwork. They are a balance between staying on brand, being risky enough to be different, but not too much to the point where you are upsetting your target audience.
We are going to look at three different companies that have taken creative risks and why we love them. The first is Lumē Deodorant, the second is Patagonia and the third is Chick-Fil-A.
Let’s take a look at Lumē Deodorant and why we love it so much. Please take a minute (or two) to watch this hilarious commercial (side note, we very much understand the severity of personal body smells, that’s not what we find funny). Lumē decided to create a conversation around something that most people are uncomfortable discussing and turn it into something that is relatable and engaging. This creative campaign has garnered sales because the commercial is eye-catching and people are willing to share this clip with their friends and family on social media.
Okay, so the video is humorous and relatable, but I bet you want to see the payoff. The following statistics are according to Facebook for Business “The deodorant company increased purchases by 7X by tailoring creative to the point where people were in the customer journey and also discovered that vertical video delivered 1.5X more purchases in a test of creative formats.” Additionally, here are more key points of their success. “Lumē’s tailored creative campaign ran from December 11, 2018–April 15, 2019, with the split-test campaign following those dates from April 17—May 16, 2019. The results included:
- 7X increase in purchases with tailored ad creative
- 3.5X return on ad spend with tailored ad creative
- 1.5X more purchases with vertical video than with horizontal
- 44% higher return on ad spend with vertical video than with horizontal
Due to the rapid jump in sales from Facebook, Lumē doubled the size of its team. As a result, this woman-owned company is now directly providing a living for more than 18 families.”
Incredible return for making the choice not to follow what everyone else was doing. They stepped out of the box, even with an uncomfortable topic, and knocked it out of the park.
Here is a company that’s taking a serious and daring step in the world of politics. Patagonia has never shied away from taking their stance on political issues and implementing that into their everyday values, creative, clothing design, etc. Let’s wrap that all up together and call it their overall brand. This company stays true to its brand through and through. We hear it often in our industry, “we want to be able to be everything to everybody.” Aka, don’t talk about politics, religion, or beliefs, only fulfill the customer’s needs. However, because Patagonia positioned itself very clearly to one side, it has created an extremely loyal customer base who will only support them because of their morals and values. For example, if you happen to purchase their Regenerative Organic Stand-Up shorts and you flip over the tag, it will read Vote the “A-Holes Out.” If you want to read more, they posted a blog of why they are doing this and what is at stake for them in this election – you can read about it here. As a takeaway – stick to your company’s values! Don’t compromise for the sake of “sales” you think you might be losing out on, the return will always be greater.
Stepping in a different direction, Chick-Fil-A has always been extremely bold about their beliefs from day one. They wanted to create a space that is aligned with their customers, employee’s values, and lifestyle. As one of the largest franchises in North America, they’ve committed to their faith, community, family, and patriotism according to Forbes. Again, this choice has brought several rounds of criticism and frustration from those who don’t align, but for those who do, they’ve created a community of diehard fans who will support the healthier fast food option. Chick-Fil-A unapologetically sticks to their creative/original values and because of that has become one of the fastest-growing fast-food restaurants, is studied by many local entrepreneurs (and marketing agencies), and stands out among its competitors.
Pepsi: Kendall Jenner
When discussing creative risks, it’s important to keep in mind that you have to ride the link between a risk and being oblivious to the content they create. For example the Pepsi Ad that aired a few years ago with Kendall Jenner created an intense amount of backlash. The premise of the commercial was a standoff of BLM and the police and Kendall reaching out to the police officers with a can of Pepsi to resolve the issue. The goal of this was great; however, the execution was poorly done.
If you haven’t understood what we are trying to convey throughout this blog, I’ll sum it up really quick. Stick to your values and who you are as a company. Be conscious of the risk and don’t take it too far. Don’t be everything to everybody, you will never be able to achieve that standard. When you serve your niche and you serve it well, you will always see more payoff. Also, step out of the box. It’s good to notice what everyone else is doing, but take that info and do it one step different and in line with who your company is. You’ll be much more memorable than everyone else who is getting lost in the noise.