My agency are currently pitching for the business of an environmental charity. As part of our early-stage contextual work, we reviewed the communications of similar organisations.

What strikes you is the strength and purity of the majority of these campaigns. There are, of course, examples of poor work (confused, visually uninteresting, fussy) but the environmental sector seems to defy Sturgeon’s Law, which suggests that 90% of creative output in any sphere is “trash, crud or crap” (as expounded in the March 1958 issue of Venture).

An explanation is that environmental deterioration itself is a powerful, singular issue. It is something that resonates with people at the most basic level; something that has the capacity to shake people out of their lethargy. Even in the hands of the most apathetic planner, the subject is fertile territory for writers and art directors.

It is surely this urgency, this force, this sense of creative opportunity that planners need to capture in all of their briefs. To capture that same singularity of purpose in relation to the seemingly mundane: a household cleaning product or a chocolate biscuit. To zero in on the thing that makes a product or an issue exciting, and then deliver the creative brief in a way which turbo-charges that excitement.

The internal agency objective is the same as the ultimate external objective: to get people worked up.



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