It starts with a “disruption day.” First, agency and client reps tour a series of rooms (or “planets”) filled with the client’s and its competitors’ marketing material, communications and financial documents. They quickly spot the rules that the industry consciously or unconsciously abides by.
Next, they analyse those conventions, often through role-playing exercises where the executives pretend they are Albert Einstein or Marilyn Monroe, explains TBWA\Vancouver chief strategic officer Jim Southcott. Why does every wireless carrier’s ad feature a phone and a price point? Why do we think of home heating systems as a costly bore, when they can add value to a house?
Over the following weeks, the agency works to articulate a new brand vision, value proposition, advertising themes and finally whole campaigns designed to disrupt the market.
When breaking the rules pays off: Industry leaders say ‘disruption’ campaigns let them stand out.