This year the IPA celebrates its Centenary and during the 100 years since it swung open its doors there’s been a mind-boggling amount of ads created. But we believe that it’s possible to catalogue all of these ideas into 10 simple themes, as our Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Willifer, explains in this series of blogs.

Yesterday’s blog looked at ‘Name Fame’. Next up, ‘Expressing Personality’…


Ideas where the way the brand speaks is more important than what it says

These ideas often bypass the rational part of the brain altogether. They are ideas which are inseparable from a brand’s tone of voice, design, imagery, language or brand world.

From the anarchy of Tango to the brevity and wit of The Economist’s headlines to the distinctive personality evoked by Chanel No. 5, whose advertising – historical to present day – consists of little more than a pervading sense of elegance and sophistication, as illustrated in the examples below.

1920s original Tribute to No. 5 by Sem

1950s execution starring Catherin Deneuve ‘Catherine the Great’

Another great example is our surreal 3 Mobile campaign which set out to capture the 16-34 market at a time when 3 was the only fully-functioning third-generation mobile network. With customers perceiving Asia to be the home of the world’s cutting edge technology a mesmerising ‘hyper-Asia’ brand world was created for 3. This world said as much about the brand as any rational sales messages could, as The Guardian remarked at the time: “the beautifully shot ‘jellyfish’ ad contains no references to the technological bells and whistles that allow 3’s users to download video clips or share music files”.

However, the series of highly distinctive commercials established 3 as the place for music (Tupperzik and Cherry), sharing (Jellyfish) and later services such as email and instant messenger (Envelopes).





Tune in tomorrow for theme #3, ‘Getting Emotional’…

(Or if you really can’t wait… The Drum have already released the full 10 here).


Matt Willifer

About Matt Willifer

Chief Strategy Officer at WCRS and Partner at Engine.

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