Brand, Social

Brand Magic: Finding A Bottle For Your Lightning

There is no one formula to creating a viral campaign. No guarantees, no safety nets and no way to predict their success. However there is only one way to find out… you need to take risks.

Common enemies of creativity are complacency and conservatism. Often when brands deliver creative briefs to agencies there is a call for ‘out-the-box’ thinking, yet more often than not, the blue sky ideas that are concepted are well-received yet rarely produced. A sinking fear creeps in. An irrational fear that the ‘risk’ of doing something unexpected (nay ‘on-brief’), might not work. Ironically, the art and creativity of the projects that are referenced in these briefs are nearly always ones that worked because they took risks. It’s the only way you’ll have a chance at capturing lightning in a bottle.

Risk-taking is at the very core of creativity. Risks need not be unnecessarily risky. They can be calculated, intelligent and informed. These are the risks that make creativity great.

A few years back we received a brief from Ferrero which asked for out-of-the-box thinking and a major repositioning of a house-hold candy brand. Thankfully the client embraced our concept and the strategy that went with it. Both of which were arguably risky for such a global brand. Yet the risk paid off.

When challenged with the task of developing a strategy and concept campaign for ‘Tic Tac‘ we decided to look at the things that were yet to be done. Rather than focus on the expected, we presented the unexpected. Where the focus had been on Television, we pivoted to Online. Where positioning had been taste, we repositioned to inventiveness. Where customers had seen everything, we introduced magic.

Our strategy had some risk as it meant taking a 180º turn on everything that had been tried before. Yet the concept was simple. We saw Tic Tac not simply as another mint, but as an innovative candy. We drew on childhood experiences where ‘play’ was as important a factor as ‘taste’ when choosing Tic Tac. We storyboarded childhood memories of using the candy to shake, rattle, flick, toss and ‘play’ with our friends. Our proposition… Tic Tac was more than just a candy.

Zeitgeist plays a factor in anything creative and certainly in social content. Fortunately as we were asked to create a concept, we had been keeping a close eye on Youtube star Zach King. Though yet to be a household name in Australia, we recognised that his brand of inventiveness was a perfect match as an ambassador for the brand. It allowed us to literally add some magic to the product.

Every bottle needs its lightning. Every strike of lightning requires a bottle that is open to it.

We then set about workshopping concepts that would allow Tic Tacs to be the fulcrum for magical, impossibly inventive tricks. ‘Tic Tac Tricks’, if you will.

The success of creativity can often be traced back to the cohesiveness of the partnerships themselves. Usually there are collaborators. Often this means a client, an agency, an ambassador and the audience. If these are all aligned, that is where lightning has the opportunity to strike.

Our strategy and concept meant nothing unless we had each of these collaborators aligned. Fortunately we did. Every bottle needs its lightning. Every strike of lightning requires a bottle that is open to it.

We began by shooting only two of the branded pieces of content to reduce risk. This ensured it was calculated and intelligent and therefore its success or failure could be informed.

Once the initial spots were released, we were able to gauge success and act upon them in the right way. We were lucky enough that the campaign hit the right notes and people were ready for it. Lightning struck and we were well prepared to act quickly so that it could strike again… and again… and again.

The campaign has now had over 100 million accumulated views. We could never have predicted the success and never seen it for ourselves unless the client had embraced risk.

You won’t capture lightning in a bottle without first taking the risk of weathering a storm.

Author – Galvin Scott Davis

Here are the first two spots we created for Tic Tic
(currently at 56 million views – Jan 2020):