Today I went to visit a lecture from Samuel Payne of Mother advertising agency. The agency is responsible some of the most emotive, unforgettable & dynamic adverts that have graced our screens in recent years.
With studios in London, New York, Buenos Aires & an award for agency of the decade under their belt, it seems that they are pretty much untouchable at the moment.
Below are a few questions from the lecture with Sam on his role at Mother & within the advertising industry.
Q: Do you have one specific title at Mother? Or is your role within the company reasonably fluid to what sort of brief you are working on?
A: The make up of people & roles are generally pretty fluid & sensitive to each project. No one is precious about been delegated a ‘title’ when working one briefs, we’re more concerned about working in a diverse team of people with transferrable skills.
I mean, my mum still isn’t quite sure what I do. She knows I work in advertising, but as a creative it’s often hard to articulate what is in my head to those 97% of ‘normal’ people out there…..it’s something I’m struggling with.
Q: On the topic of those 'normal' people, how effective do you think conducting focus groups are for developing your ad concepts?
A: Hah, focus groups have the amazing ability to make everything really average. I don’t really understand how you can trust the integrity of an idea with five strangers in Milton that have no value for what you’re pitching to them.
There’s a cultural thought process you can engage people with, but generally people from business backgrounds aren’t aware of creative sensitivity.
Q: So if you’re not a big fan of focus groups, do you have any alternative methods of measuring the success of the work you’re producing?
A: Yeah, of course! Yeah use algorithms, facebook, we read tweets that have been hash-tagged about us. I don’t see many other agencies measuring the reactions or success of their work but it’s something that at Mother we are really conscious of.
Q: You paint this picture of cultural activity, as the audience gets savvier towards what you’re trying to do, do they become less responsive?
A: Okay so when making buying choices, people tend to spend more time thinking about the matrix of what they know about a brand or any emotional attachments they feel they have to a brand’s heritage, almost as if they have grown up with them.