Boring can be brilliant


I wrote a little while ago about how creative opportunities sometimes come heavily disguised. Perhaps the master of disguise – the full wig, glasses and moustache combo – is the unglamorous sector brief. Financial, insurance, professional services. When you see these briefs, your reaction might be to stifle a yawn or remember an important dentist appointment you need to be at. Which is completely understandable. On the surface, they don’t seem like opportunities. However, sometimes the sheer dullness of the subject can provide a brilliant canvas for creativity. A springboard for something ‘unboring’ as the classic Ikea campaign put it. Often, all of the product info and mandatories are so turgid, the client desperately wants you to find an interesting spin on them and allows you more creative freedom than you might get on a sexier FMCG or sports brand.

First Direct has pretty much lived this principle; their tone of voice has always stood out a mile from the banking sector. Last year, Cheil Seoul turned a brief for Samsung Life Insurance into something very special indeed.  And another peach in the boring-sector-good-work category is the ad above. Tackling not only a deadly dull subject but also a low budget and a pan-European audience, this had no right to end up as good as it did. So well done McCann Worldgroup people – you performed the impressive feat of making me feel warm towards an insurance company. It’s a great example of the boring made (almost) brilliant.


About antmelder
Executive Creative Director at Host/Havas Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

One Response to Boring can be brilliant

  1. Rich Beer says:

    The most challenging thing about working on these kinds of boring briefs isn’t the subject matter, it’s the boring clients. Many, many clients in these sectors say they want to ‘stand out’ or ‘do something different’ but, when it comes down to it, they will almost always go for the boring, safe option, leaving the exciting, daring, disruptive, original or just imaginative concept in the rejected folder.

    That’s why when you get a video like this, it’s important to remember what a big role the client played in getting it made. A client like this is worth their weight in gold to a creative agency, regardless of what sector they’re in.

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