Ad Club's Brave Brand honorees describe brave partnerships

See what execs from Burger King, DDB North America, Ikea, BBDO and more have to say.

Next Monday, the Advertising Club of New York will honor 10 marketers and agencies who have successfully partnered and taken risks together as part of the organization’s Brave Brands program.

This year’s honorees include:
Burger King and Lola MullenLowe: "Scary Clown Night"
Diesel and Publicis: "Go with the Fake"
Ikea and Acne: "Ikea’s Response to Balenciaga"
KFC and Mother London: "FCK"
Mars Wrigley Confectionery and DDB Chicago: "Exclusive the Rainbow"
Nike and W+K: "Nike Breaking2"
Orange Telecom and FP7/CAI: "Now or Never"
Procter & Gamble and BBDO NY: "The Talk"
Qualcomm and McCann NY: "Ignore This – Beatbox & Bavarian Dance"
Tide and Saatchi & Saatchi NY: "It’s a Tide Ad"

In anticipation of the awards luncheon, Campaign US asked several honorees to answer this question in just a sentence or two: What does a brave brand-agency relationship look like to you and why is it important?

See their answers below.


Fernando Machado – Global Chief Marketing Officer, Burger King

Like in any relationship, we fight, push each other to the limit, sometimes even hate each other. But we hate doing average work even more. So we end up getting along and doing cool stuff as a team. 

Johan Bello – Executive Creative Director, Partner, ACNE

First and foremost, there’s a shared belief that good ideas must go beyond the ordinary. Once that’s established, I believe in having an ongoing dialogue about the work you do – and the work you want to do – together. Once you find that one idea you believe in, it’s up to both parties to fight to get it out there. The last step is simply to celebrate properly – together.

Ari Weiss – CCO of DDB North America

I think bravery connotes a certain amount of risk and I don’t think our Super Bowl campaign was all that risky. An incredibly talented group of Mars clients and DDB folks found a very calculated solution to a very specific business problem and it worked. It just seemed brave because it had never been done before. Had we slayed a dragon, now that would have been brave. Perhaps for next year’s Super Bowl.

Pancho Cassis – Executive Creative Director, LOLA MullenLowe Madrid

The relationship looks like a Whatsapp conversation. Concise, honest, in real time and personal. No BS, no bureaucracy and no committees. Just the core team, the ideas and the go ahead.

Simone Page – Content Leader Global Communication, IKEA Group

For me a brave brand agency relationship is based on trust and daring to be vulnerable. Especially when there is no time for lengthy processes and involving internal stakeholders, it requires a bit of risk-taking on both sides to propose or approve bold creative. Quoting Ingvar Kamprad ‘Only while sleeping one makes no mistakes.’

Greg Hahn – Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York

Like any relationship, it all comes down to respect and trust.  Bold work is the byproduct of mutual trust.   

Alberto Ponte – Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy Portland

If there is trust and respect in an agency-brand relationship, both sides can be honest and bold in agreement and disagreement. It's the only way to generate brave work. Risks have to be taken together, and at the end of the day an agency can be as brave as their clients are.

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