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.

Themes covered so far have been ‘Name Fame’, ‘Expressing Personality’, ‘Getting Emotional’, ‘Remaining Rational’ and ‘Call to Action’. We now cross the half way mark with ‘Reframing the Debate’…



Ideas that anchor the brand to a completely new reference point

Thinking about things from a different angle can reframe how people view a brand (or the world). These are surprising ideas that make people think again, and which fly in the face of accepted wisdom. Polaroid not just being a camera, but a social lubricant. The Orange Gold spots that urged people to turn their mobiles off rather than turn them on. And the Persil campaign below, which challenged the age-old wisdom that cleanliness is good while dirtiness is bad, by proclaiming “dirt is good”.



Our Royal Navy Engineers ‘If you can fix this, you can fix this’ campaign reframed £billion ships as common bicycles – hence making the engineering tasks associated with them seem more doable. We knew that our audience was mechanically curious, but it seemed the equipment of the Royal Navy was daunting. What we needed to do therefore was reframe how they saw the Royal Navy. We did this by showing that whilst it seemed big and scary, if you break it down, a ship was merely a Lego kit of components very similar to a car or bike.

As a result of our campaign – which was awarded ‘Best Insight in the World’ by the APG – awareness levels doubled and the proportion of the audience that identified themselves as having the qualities to become a Royal Navy engineer rose from 12% to 22%. In the first few months of the campaign ‘expressions of interest’ from potential engineers also went through the roof; 10 times higher than those recorded over the previous three years.

Tune in tomorrow for theme #7, ‘Going after the Enemy’…



Matt Willifer

About Matt Willifer

Chief Strategy Officer at WCRS and Partner at Engine.

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