Monday, 11 May 2015

The future's bright, the future's...

Orange, 1994. ‘In the future, you wont change what you say, just how you say it.’ 

In the future a lot will be different BUT some things will be the same as they’ve always been. And some of these things will continue to be the fundamental tenets of planning. In my opinion, some of these things being;

Unchanging man

Hard to believe this will become any less important.

What makes a great idea

‘At BBH we aim to deliver intelligence and magic.

We don’t believe that an idea is great unless it’s delivered off the right strategy and we don’t consider a strategy worthwhile unless it leads to inspiring workIntelligence AND magic are mutually reinforcing’. 

Understanding this process will continue to lead to great ideas.

The art of creating power

Sir Lawrence Freedman defines strategy as the art of creating power. Notably, not a science. And in order to do this it must be continuous. It must carry on after you get punched in the mouth. Strategy (over planning) is ‘the evolution of the big idea through changing circumstances’.  Changing circumstances being the operative phrase here.


“A brand cannot be distinctive if it is not consistent." And communications will not increase a brand’s fame if they aren’t distinctive. Which is not great seeing as increasing brand fame is the most profitable objective for communications. And although this pattern is reflective of the findings of the marketing book du jour, ‘How Brands Grow’ by Byron Sharp, it is a pattern that has long been known by brands. Just look at the Catholic church.

In summary, what we have learnt will not one day become useless when some one proclaims that ‘X is dead’.

Quite the opposite.

In an uncertain future, knowing how to apply certainty will make strategy more valuable than ever.

Uncertainty + Certainty = Opportunity

*This article was originally published on BBH Labs within a larger article. To read the whole thing, which includes two other points of view from fellow BBHers Shib Hussain and Melanie Arrow, click here.

Thursday, 12 February 2015



Forget taxidermy, now you can mount fresh flowers on your walls. 


3 minute music video shot in 5 seconds.




The story goes with this one that the client said no, Saatchi's shot it anyway and the client hated it so much they lost the account and it never really aired.

And that's all for now. If you enjoyed the post and could give it a shout out on twitter I'll love ya foreva!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


   The catholic church is probably one of the greatest examples of this pattern.

As a planner and Byron Sharp evangelist, I am often thinking about how to increase the consistency of creative work because consistency increases the effectiveness of communications over time. "A brand cannot be distinctive if it is not consistent." And communications will not increase a brand’s fame if they aren’t distinctive. Which is not great seeing as increasing brand fame is the most profitable objective for communications.

Sadly the word ‘consistency’ is probably the least appealing word a creative can hear. It sounds like a constraint, a formula, the enemy of new, brave and exciting. Basically the opposite of creativity.

I whole-heartedly disagree.

I see the pattern of - consistency⇒distinctiveness⇒fame⇒success – in creativity from churches and Hollywood to graffiti, in YouTube channels and garage music. And there’s a lot we can learn from it.

To be clear I am not attributing all of the success below to consistency, an overwhelming part of it is that it’s all fucking great.  But when you consider what has been kept consistent, in the context of how the creative is experienced, there’s a lot to learn.

Everything in Wes Anderson’s movies, from the opening titles, to the types of characters,  actors, stories, dialogue, colours etc etc is born from one consistent style. Yes other directors have styles but not like this.

Through this consistency he has created a movie franchise around himself as a director, rather than around a story or character as is traditional. It’s the next Wes Anderson movie, not the next Harry Potter or Bond.

And his box office takings show extraordinarily consistent growth, akin to a successful movie franchise, when compared to successful directors like Spielberg or Nolan who are up and down like a yoyo.

Established in 2011, Majestic Casual was one of the first music blogs on YouTube spanning genres including deep house, hip-hop, indie and pop.  99% of their music uploads have no video content, just a static image and ‘majestic’ in white. In that ‘what should I listen to next’ moment, seeing that branding massively increases the likelihood of trying something new or spotting something you like, as ‘majestic’ is instantly noticeable in YouTube’s sidebar. It's a decision you often want to make quickly and this helps you do it. 

Majestic Casual has a total of nearly 600million views, with a guarantee that each individual video will climb into the high hundred thousands, if not millions. This approach has subsequently been copied by a lot of other YouTube channels, although no brands with a marketing budget as far as I can tell.

Onto DJ EZ, widely regarded as the greatest garage DJ of all time, who is still hugely successful despite the rest of the genre practically dying out. He’s the only DJ I know of who’s got what is essentially a branded audio jingle that he starts every single set with. It can often be heard during as well.  Classically this is what Radio stations do, EZ has just applied the thinking to his own work. Have a listen. You just can’t help noticing it and remembering it.

A shrewd move considering he is always playing through someone else’s media channel, be that a radio station, YouTube channel or nightclub. By comparison all other DJ’s introductions sound the same.

Ben Eine fell in love with the alphabet and subsequently created a new approach to graffiti. In line with being ruthlessly consistent in search of fame, traditionally graffiti writers will paint the same word over and over and over again, not necessarily in the same style though. Eine painted different letters everywhere, but they all explored the same style of typography. His rise to fame was meteoric, commercial success followed and David Cameron even gave one of his prints to Barack Obama as a present.

I'm not saying be consistent for consistency's sake. I'm saying let's stop seeing it as a creative problem and start seeing it as a tool to get famous.

What do you think? Give me a shout @LucianTrestler

And if you found this interesting and could find it in your heart to give me a shout out on twitter I'll love ya forever!


Byron Sharp on twitter, @ProfByron

Byron Sharp, How Brands Grow, what marketers don't know.

Les Binet & Peter Field, Marketing in the era of accountability.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Display Advertising: A Disgusting Waste of Money

So in 2013 we spent $120.5315 Billion on internet advertising.

And 25% of that*, so about $30 Billion was spent on display advertising.

Google has just reported that 56.1% of all display ads are not seen at all.

Even worse than that, ‘a display ad is considered viewable when 50% of an ad’s pixels are in view on the screen for a minimum of one second’, are you fucking kidding?

So by my overall calculations…. that is one massive waste of money, tantamount to fraud.


Warc, Global Ad Trends 2014

Forrester Research, Interactive Marketing Forecasts 

Google, The Importance of Being Seen: Viewability Insights for Digital Marketers and Publishers

*I know the Forrester data is just for the US but I thought I could use it as a guide, if you are aware of the exact global figure and would like to share that would be great!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

APG: Big Thinking on Strategy – 1 Thing I Learned From Each Speaker

Rather than try and summarise the varied points of discussion around, and different perspectives on strategy into one neat article, I thought I’d write something with the aim of being short and helpful. So, in running order, here is one thing I learned from each speaker;

Monday, 1 September 2014

There Is No Creativity In Group Workshops

I know this is not a particularly controversial or new opinion (for most people working in agencies) but the other day something clicked whilst reading Enrique Lafuente Ferrari in Goya’s Complete Etchings, Aquatints, and lithographs and I think I’ve got a clear articulation as to why not.

‘To be truly great, an artist must be able to create a world of his own, born from that driving urge which is the very essence of all art. In conception, this world must be coherent, and full of the instincts, intuitions, and passions that move humanity. To bring it all to life, the artist must depend not only upon his graphic talent and creative ability, but on his fantasy and imagination. Then, if it is his fortune to be gifted in this way, the most secretive workings of his soul and mind will find expression in line and form, light and shade, all inspired by that inner vision without which mere competence is nothing’