In the latest of a series of predictions on the year ahead, Frazer Gibney, chief executive, FCB Inferno, offers up his thoughts on what 2016 will bring and outlines his new year's resolution for the agency.
As advertisers we must never take for granted our role in the lives of consumers. Much has already been written about our responsibility to earn, not demand, their attention with relevant and engaging communications. Less has been written about the important role we can play as drivers of real positive change in society.
For me, 2016 will, or at least should, be the year we see less industry navel-gazing and more looking outwards for opportunities to work with our clients for higher purposes. This doesn’t have to be as ‘fluffy’ as it sounds. In fact, more and more brands are realising that commercial success and positive social influence are not mutually exclusive. In fact, to earn that coveted place in the hearts and minds of consumers, standing for something more than your bottom line is a smart move. Witness the growing body of work from around the world at Cannes that is raising awareness of important issues facing society.
As an agency, we believe in behaviour change and social change. I think advertising agencies should be leading the charge in changing society for the better, and we at FCB Inferno are taking this to heart. As long as the issue is relevant to our clients, we can use our platform and position for good by working towards a meaningful solution.
We are currently helping homeless people integrate into society by training them to sell Old Spike Roastery Coffee with the Big Issue. Our work with Pearson is focusing on the worldwide problem of illiteracy. We are continuing to encourage women to participate in sport with Sport England, and we are assisting people with their financial understanding alongside the Money Advice Service. We always aim to produce excellent insight-driven work and deliver commercial returns, but we are also looking for opportunities to positively shape our society.
With that in mind, my new year’s resolution is to work with the team at FCB Inferno, to make sure we continue to think big and drive behaviour change that makes a difference to the world around us – from supporting causes close to the agency’s heart and by working with our clients to find those real opportunities to change society for the better. This means a 2016 of being proactive, keeping our eyes open, and proudly presenting big opportunities to our clients whenever possible.