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’, ‘Call to Action’‘Reframing the Debate‘, ‘Going After the Enemy’ and ‘Company Belief’. Today we’re onto our penultimate theme, ‘Making Something Useful’…



Ideas that move beyond saying things to doing things

In most cases products are the useful things, and the aim of communications is to point people in their direction. However, this group of ideas are useful in themselves. Not advertising things, but making things that are advertised.

Many are digital – such as Nike Fuel’s gamification of running – but interestingly, many are not, such as Salta Beer giving toothless Argentinian rugby players new beer opening teeth! Below is a brilliant example from Burger King. Their audience loved Xbox, so they created a branded game to retail in their stores; advertising people literally paid money for.

A great WCRS example of this was our ‘infectious’ wrapping paper, created in aid of homeless charity St Mungo’s. This saw us take classic wrapping paper design and make it mean something, by re-creating viruses that pose serious health risks to people sleeping rough in winter including the common cold, influenza and pneumonia. The rich density of the designs meant each one revealed more on closer inspection, unexpectedly turning something cold and clinical into something warm, festive, beautiful and, of course, useful! The viral wrapping paper literally, went viral; starting conversations and making headlines across the globe, gaining coverage in the national and international mass market media (including page 3 of The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and and had people all around the world packaging up their Christmas presents in our viral wrapping paper.


Tune in tomorrow for our theme, ‘Channel Choice’…


Matt Willifer

About Matt Willifer

Chief Strategy Officer at WCRS and Partner at Engine.

Follow Matt Willifer