Q&A with Hans Moe from Kitchen – A Creative Agency Swimming Against the Tide
Harry S. Truman once warned his staff: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
This saying is apt for the Norwegian creative agency, Kitchen, which sets high standards of work and doesn’t give in to “good enough”. Together with Adform, the agency has launched several Rich Media executions as well as an engaging outdoor campaign for Norwegian Airlines.
We hooked up with Hans Moe, a consultant at Kitchen, to discuss how the agency thrives by following exceptional ideas, what challenges face creative people and how technology is transforming advertising landscape.
What differentiates Kitchen from other creative agencies?
Kitchen Advertising Agency Oslo is a full service creative agency. We believe that a brand that knows why it exists, not just what it sells, is stronger and more effective. We believe that you often have to do something, not just say something, to make a difference to the way people think, act and feel.
Kitchen, Vizeum and Adform joined forces for an engaging Norwegian Airlines outdoor campaign in Oslo Central Station. How is technology changing OOH advertising?
Technology is changing outdoor advertising in the same way it is changing all advertising. It is opening up two-way communication and even dialogue and involvement. In the past, you had to film some outdoor acts in order to create a fancy edited video with more or less credibility to engage a wide audience online.
Nowadays we can engage and involve the audience around the outdoor solutions themselves and let them talk and spread the word. The opportunities for making an impact have increased a lot.
How is display advertising evolving in the Norwegian market?
First of all, clients, agencies and creatives are becoming more aware of what banners can and should do as part of their marketing mix. The new tools for getting the message out in the digital landscape (for buying, placement and tracking), allow agencies and clients to not only customise their messages, but also enter into a dialogue with their audience through creative buying. There are endless opportunities for combining traditional creativity with for instance SEO, SEM, RTB and retargeting.
Maybe we are starting to believe that smart, relevant and rewarding is the new bigger is better and we are seeing a shift from reach and frequency to relevancy and engagement. Never before have we been more capable of being contextual and time relevant with our segmented audience. This is where brands can play an important role in people’s lives instead of just disturbing them when we want to push our message across.
Do advertisers willingly embrace Rich Media solutions?
Two to three years ago, takeover solutions and Rich Media banners were something that only big brands within the insurance, banking, travel, oil and automotive industries would use to show off their muscle and to build brand awareness.
These days, smaller advertisers, and big ones for that matter, can act big in more local areas than before, allowing them to target the right customers at exactly the right time of day, in sync with the customers’ journeys, and armed with exactly the right message with a designated path for lead and interaction.
The ideal Rich Media solution, you could argue, is capable of driving the consumer through the full customer journey on its own: wining attention, intriguing and convincing, and then clicking through to purchase. Easy as pie.
I also think Rich Media solutions are needed to capitalise on retargeting and building the brand.
What is the coolest Rich Media campaign you have ran together with Adform?
I believe the takeover for Norwegian Airlines was pretty cool. Ask me again in December, hopefully we’ll have done something cooler by then.
Click here to see the Rich Media Takeover execution for the Norwegian Airlines.
What’s the biggest challenge facing creative people today?
The feeling of being left behind, and the “we did not invent this” syndrome. Creativity, media neutral ideas and acts are still our core product. However, it is important to be on top of the solutions and channels that today’s technology offers. That will enrich the creative ideas and allow them to live longer, deeper and materialise in more channels. Subsequently, that will lead to a stronger impact and involvement with the people we are engaging with, and that`s what our clients pay us for.
The increased ability to be hyper relevant sometimes leads people to think that creativity is secondary or indeed not a necessity for effectiveness. Sadly, this attitude forgets the essence of why brands exist in the first place, putting all emphasize on the transaction and hardly any on the relation.
Having said that, the new consumer media landscape requires radically different ideas compared to just five years ago. It is a constant challenge to stay ahead, considering that connections are the context for our core capability, not the capability as such. This requires more involvement and interaction throughout the development stages, and this is not part of creative people’s traditional DNA. This is something that we at Kitchen fight for and the reason why we go to work every day.
Give us three tips for creating an effective marketing campaign?
Number 1. First of all, you need to define your meaning of the word effective. Make sure the client, the creatives and the agencies share the same ambitions and goals for the brand for the long-term and short-term perspectives. That will make it easier to sell and buy your creative ideas.
Number 2. Dare to be different, but don’t be afraid to make your own version of something that someone has done before. Just make sure it’s relevant and rewarding for your audience.
Number 3. Leave the office! Take a walk in the city, visit a school or drive to the countryside every now and then and talk to people, take pictures of them, observe them and collect their phone numbers and email addresses. You can pick up the trends, reports, briefs and big data on your computer some other day. Observing people’s behaviour will always be the key to creating communications that change the way people think, act and feel.
What is your personal favourite advertising campaign, and why?
It’s hard to beat Earth Hour. It’s truly amazing seeing 20% of the world’s population perform the same act at the same time around the globe. This is a great example of an act that really changes the way people think, feel and act. I believe this is one of the few marketing initiatives that is visible from the moon, no?
If you could change one thing in advertising business, what would it be?
I would love to see the advertising business, or the creative business as we like to call ourselves, move from fragmentation to integration. We need more people, respecting each other’s competences around the table, solving a shared challenge, regardless of marketing disciplines.
Thank you, Hans.