Over the years we have worked with dozens of brands. Some have grown to become multi-billion-pound companies that trade the world over and employ thousands of people and set the standards other aspire to.
What defines these brands far and beyond their business acumen is a culture of bravery. They refuse to play it safe and follow the social norms. They choose to lead as opposed to follow.
But courage should not be mistaken for recklessness. Courage comes from knowing the consequences of your actions and strategically anticipating how you will respond to all possibilities.
When working with a brand that has courage, you get a sense of liberation and that translates through to the work you produce. You find yourself charting new territory and carefully planning the route ahead.
So whilst to your competitors it may look like you are being reckless – the truth of the matter is that you know where you’re going. You’ve scouted the road ahead and are clear on your destination.
Before they know it, your competitors are left staring at your taillights as you pull away and they are left in your dust.
Fear by contrast can and will cripple you. If your brand has a culture rooted in fear, customers, competitors and followers will see it and react accordingly. You will find yourself paralyzed with indecision and that makes you a vulnerable target.
So ask yourself, what sort of brand do you want to be?
Twelve weeks ago we welcomed our latest intern for what was to turn out to be one of the most interesting periods in our history (so far). During that time Niamh got to work on projects the world over. Now she’s getting ready to head back to university and below is her thoughts on the time:
It’s coming to that time – 12 weeks done with the most amazing company, The Mission Control. Having to leave will be the hardest thing I will have done in a long time (tears will be flooding the place today). I want to thank each and everyone of the team for the amazing time I’ve had and also the crazy journey. Working with so many different companies and people has been a life changing opportunity.
I also want to thank the amazing team at The Mission for all their love and support and dedication to teach me new and exciting things!
Patricia: I have to say it’s been tough working along side you (OJ) No but really such a pleasure to see you every day and have the opportunity to work along side you and also the great and mighty wisdom that you have given me.
James: You have went to the moon and back to put up with my stupid questions (but I really didn’t know what you were talking about some times).
Laurence: I have enjoyed every moment working along side someone so smart and talented and knows his way about Belfast ( where’s this Laurence where’s that?).
And also a big shout out to the Supernova team ( Bertrand Lassallette-Desnault ) for their amazing work and letting me work along side them – it was an honour.
Brookvent is a company best known for its intelligent product design, so when it came to selecting a brand partner to help create an integrated global marketing strategy, its marketing team wanted an intelligent forward thinking agency with an international perspective to join them.
Following a competitive brand review involving six agencies, The Mission was appointed to join Brookent in realigning the brand across a number of countries. The announcement was made on Easter Tuesday following a thorough review of all proposals put forward.
Speaking about the win, James Killoran said: ‘Brookvent is an amazing brand to be working with and we’re joining it at a pivotal point in its evolution. The company has a ‘creator culture’ that reflects our own so there is a very natural fit between both companies.’ Over the coming months, The Mission Control will be working with Brookvent to create a fully integrated marketing strategy that will be rolled out worldwide.
The Bite Group has appointed The Mission Control as its lead creative and strategic agency following a comprehensive brand review that began in January.
The retail manufacturer who produces brands for Starbucks and Dunnes amongst others has been in substantive discussions with the agency for months but only awarded the business earlier this week after a final round of presentations from agencies in both the UK and RoI.
James Killoran from The Mission said: “It was obvious from the first meeting that the Bite team shared out appetite for amazing work. Bite has gone through a very open and honest internal journey over recent months to get clarity on their brand. That’s a very brave process and one of the things that endeared the brand to us. It proved a genuine willingness to explore the retail market they operate in and not simply follow the herd.”
The Mission’s first work for Bite is due to break pre summer.
Equiniti ICS offers outsourced payroll services using the latest technologies, driving unprecedented payroll accuracy for a wealth of private, public and not for profit organisations throughout the UK.
Following a creative review involving a number of agencies, The Mission Control was hired to create and deliver a fully integrated campaign solution to raise awareness of the brand’s standalone PeopleAX payroll software. Accredited by Microsoft and HMRC, PeopleAX combines powerful processing with a familiar Microsoft UI.
Working in tandem with the Equiniti marketing team, The Mission Control has created an intelligent and insightful response that clearly illustrates the benefits of PeopleAX to both Payroll and HR departments.
The campaign was created following extensive market research and will see a host of people presented as infographics over coming months to demonstrate some of the key metrics that PeopleAX can be used to identify. The underpinning creative message is that PeopleAX is much more than just an intelligent piece of software for doing payroll – it offers companies and organisations a unique insight into their workforce.
About once a year I get around to clearing out my desk. During this year’s purge I came across an old storyboard we’d been working on last year. The strange thing is; I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out.
That got me to thinking. I delete and disregard dozens of ideas and scripts every day on my computer. I edit, re-edit and then edit some more. David Ogilvy is credited as saying “I know other writers who are much more fluent, and facile, and surer-footed, and can write their stuff down, and that’s the way it runs. I’m not that good. I’m awfully slow. I’ve done as many as 19 drafts on a single piece of copy before I’ve presented it to anyone to edit. I wrote 37 headlines for Sears Roebuck last week and I think three that I thought were good enough to submit to other people for their comment. So, you see, the writing business is not easy for me.”
So what emotional hold did this piece of paper have over me? It didn’t have my inspired brand slogan visible anywhere. It didn’t have the thumping soundtrack I’d spent hours searching for and planning how it would cut between scenes. It was just some ink on a page. Yet I couldn’t throw it away.
Perhaps its an unconscious appreciation of the ‘human’ artistic talent that went into visualising each scene and then rendering it by hand – a skill that I often think is lost on those projects that only ever exist on a computer screen. They lack that spark of humanity – the ‘headspace’ we turn over to the concept when we’re sitting with pen, pencil or marker giving it life. It’s in those moments that we find the magic in the scenes; that we see them come to life in our minds eye.
I always start with pen and paper. It’s my default setting. The Mac is where I go to finish the work, but the sketchpad is where I go to start it.
If a concept can be communicated at the most basic of levels in a sketch or storyboard, it’ll translate into the real world. The danger with starting on the Mac is that software and stock libraries can make a bad idea look good. The creative can get so consumed with perfecting the image that they miss the point that it’s a bad idea in the first place. Process takes over and inspiration and insight gets parked up.
I’ve heard some people say that storyboards are a relic from the ‘Mad Men’ era, but I’d have to disagree. We don’t have to present on boards, we often run through storyboards with clients on iPads. All that’s changed is the technology – and technology does that. But getting the idea for me has always been more important than having the latest flashy piece of technology to present it.
Last year we played host to some of the team behind delivering such wonderful events as Lumiere and the Turner Prize as part of Derry/Londonderry City of Culture 2013.
Imagine how delighted we were then when we received this lovely card and some fantastic gadgets for the team from the very talented Jean Wylie.