Going rogue in ad land
What does it mean to be a rouge brand?
To be a rebel is, in a sense, to challenge what is expected. it's going against the grain. To question perfection and perceptions of what perfect is. It's easy enough to find this anywhere. The daring opinion on LinkedIn which goes against what everyone else is saying. The fierce debate in the comment section. The unfiltered photos on Instagram. The unedited footage (which usually happens to be funnier).
But regardless of the form it takes, there is something about imperfection that we love. Witnessing havoc reminds us that what we’re witnessing is real. Without a rogue point of view debates can become robotic and single minded.
So, if being a "rebel" means challenging perfection, what does it mean to be a rebel brand?
Perhaps it doesn’t have to mean being a disruptor in the traditional marketing sense. Perhaps it, too, is just about challenging perfection.
If it's not real, it won't resonate
For big brand players, it is easy as pie to churn out new content. But while big money puts on a big display, if that display is just smoke, mirrors and façade, it will quickly be forgotten. The same principle applies to our everday. Imagine you receive a gift and it's wrapped in the most intricate way. If the internal gift lacks the wow factor it promised, then all the exterior work has been a waste.
The media world we live in is so saturated in blank campaigns. Creative work is getting lost before it's even begun. A modern-day audience is a tricky one to crack, with expectations through the roof, eyes that have seen a thousand things before, reaching that point of ultimate engagement is like finding a needle in a haystack. Perhaps the way to exceed expectations is by going against expectations; against the shiny and polished campaigns we have come to expect from every brand.When being imperfect has paid off
Oatly exemplify the opportunity of finding the needle. Oatly decided to mix up the milk industry by doing it differently. With veganism at a rise, and the food industry seemingly shifting, . Oatly sought to assist ‘lactose-intolerant people in the world for whom oat milk can be an excellent alternative.’
Now this was the start for the hunt for gold, the positioning was right, so the idea had to be too. To be 'fearless' with communicating is what CEOs Toni and John did with their marketing strategy ("It's like milk, but made for humans, wow... no cow"). The campaign caused a stir and was a viral success that took twitter by storm. Whether the attention was positive or negative, it evoked discussion, grabbed attention, and most importantly it cut through the noise by not taking itself so seriously.
A 2019 Meta study found an 84% likelihood that lo-fi shot creative would outperform studio-shot creative in driving content views, and a 63% likelihood that it would drive lower-funnel outcomes. Indeed, 90% of 18–36-year-olds like it when people showcase their flaws and imperfections. Examples of brands who have taken this approach are Pampers ‘Share the Love’, and Binggrae Banana Milk social campaigns, which both depicted real people and made use of unrefined creative.
What we put out and share with the world doesn’t have to be polished to excellence. Reflecting imperfection is reflecting reality. And if your work mirrors humanity, it will challenge precision and in return make you the best rebel in the industry.
Written by Molly Taylor-Prevett, Junior Planner.