tag talks! 1-on-1 with Ian Schwey, VP Executive Creative Director

 tag 9:44 am on November 3, 2017
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Executive Creative Director, Ian Schwey, talks about how brands can connect with consumers on an emotional level – and without the need for a million dollar budget.

With so many tools at your disposal today, which are the most effective in connecting brands with consumers? 

While data is important when it comes to understanding consumers and their buyer journey, and digital is a fantastic method to deliver the message, it’s the big idea that remains the core of what matters most. A big, transformative idea based on true insight allows brands to connect with consumers on an emotional level with a great deal of impact.

If content is king, media is queen. Using data to figure out where your target is, allows you to hyper-target the right message for the right consumer at the right time. Once you conceive the big idea, digital is definitely a platform worth investing in, especially the way we are able to do it – but I can’t be giving away our secrets here!

Additionally, research shows that people spend up to 3.5 hours per day on their phone, so we need to make mobile a priority. The experience that brands put out there needs to be engaging for consumers regardless of the format, making them want to interact with your brand.

Would you consider tag to be digital experts?

It’s virtually impossible to be in an expert in something that is evolving at such a rapid pace. What clients need is a team that can best adapt ideas to the latest and greatest offerings, as well as discover new digital solutions. Technology could change tomorrow, but the team that’s best prepared for the ongoing evolution and offer the most efficient ways to connect with consumers will prevail.

How much budget is required to create an effective campaign?

Production is a hot topic in the industry these days. Far too often I see a TV spot that opens on a beach, for example, to promote… wait for it… laundry detergent! Really? Was that absolutely necessary? Did the client need to spend $1.8 million to produce a TV spot when they could be allocating their spend towards something more valuable? I’m not saying there aren’t great ads produced with big budgets, but knowing how to create insightful, impactful and memorable work for a fraction of the cost will make the agency team invaluable.

That’s what tag does really well. We know that a great idea isn’t predicated on a million dollar budget. We surround ourselves with partners who are at the top of their game, who and are invested in creating something magical without astronomical mark-ups. If this is something clients are currently missing, then we are a shop they should definitely be talking to.

There’s a lot of talk these days about clients needing to take risks. Do you believe that risks are required to achieve success?

It depends on how you define risk. One thing we look for in a client partner is a shared definition of risk. A while back, I presented a concept to a client that they absolutely loved. They laughed (the intended response) and had a strong emotional reaction. I thought we’d be moving ahead with the concept, so when the client said it was “too risky” I was dumbfounded. Were they concerned that consumers may have the same emotional response they did? I was scratching my head. I replied, “Running this concept is not risky. Spending hundreds of thousands of media dollars to run the same boring work, that’s risky! Running this proposed campaign is smart. It’s brave. We need to break the mold, and present something that is impossible to ignore.”

So, what happened? Did your proposed campaign run?

Yes! And it was a resounding success. We did concept testing prior to launch to ensure the big idea resonated with our target audiences. The campaign exceeded our KPI targets – post-campaign analysis revealed a 33pt lift in recall and click through rates were 42% higher than industry average.

What is the key to clients buying the right creative approach?

The best work is an output of true partnerships and mutual respect. As much as we learn  about our clients’ business, ultimately, they know their business best. It’s who they are, they live and breathe it everyday. And in turn, our clients do not claim to know more about the most effective way to communicate with consumers; if they did, they wouldn’t need us. But that’s where the collaboration lies.

We ensure that our clients are a part of our exploration, research, strategy and creative process. If not, then a lot of time could be wasted headed in the wrong direction. It’s a journey our clients and tag take together, and our clients value us for that. It’s also why so many of our clients have stayed with us for so long. There’s an old advertising adage that says “The day you win a new client is the same day you start to lose them.” tag seems to be the exception to that rule. Our clients appreciate the approach we take of inclusivity, transparency and respect. When they achieve success, we achieve success, and it’s a win-win for all.

To learn more about tag and all that we have to offer, get in touch with Deanna Jamieson here.

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These brands achieved double digit growth by working with tag's truthology™ platform

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Philips Logo, FCH Logo and Ricoh Logo

These brands achieved double digit growth by working with tag's truthology platform.

Sign up for our FREE truthology workshop and get on your way to achieving great results like these*

* free workshops offered to a limited number of qualified organizations