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Don't Sleepwalk Through A Revolution!
What names come to mind? Noah's Ark, X3M Ideas? Sure, but there is one agency you've left out… one agency that demands you sit up and take notice.
Image & Time.
An agency, but more than that, an idea. An idea that every single campaign, intervention or creative must ignite a spark that kindles an open love affair between brands and their consumers. Image & Time helps you find that spark. With recent wins in highly contested pitches for household name brands like Ribena and Union Bank, Image & Time is catching industry onlookers by storm.
In less than two years since this agency extended its wings to reach into the advertising scene, Image & Time has piled up an incredible number of pitch wins. Even more outstanding are the calibre and diversity of brands they have been able to work with in this short space of time, starting with the Gulder "Na Man You Be" campaign, to the brand revitalization done for eTranzact.
Tosin Lanipekun, Managing Partner, who sits and works out of the EMEA office in London, (yes, they're also based in the cultural epicenter of Europe) talked about Image & Time's driving philosophy;
'Design thinking and culture hacking are two anchor philosophies that drive our work. Our aim is always to deliver cultural value for businesses we work with because brands exist in a densely contested communication space, with thousands of curators seeking to win the attention of the audience. We are very strategic and intentional with our solutions, we believe success is by design. Brands cannot be passive bystanders but active participators in culture.'
Gbonju Akingbade, Managing Partner Nigeria, speaks on the state of the industry;
'Today in our industry, you have a lot of recycling, which leaves little room for fresh thinking or innovative approaches. Our strength has always been rooted in the quality of talent we've been able to assemble. We are a team of A-players. A-players want to play with A-players not B-players. This means we search near, far and wide. Diversity of thought, discipline, background and breadth of exposure are central to what we look for in building our teams. We hire designers and non-designers alike, we have culture hackers, we work with developers, writers, art directors, cinematographers, and a puree of disciplines and personalities all packed into one team and all with only one mandate: clear the clutter and deliver simple and unarguable killer thinking.
Clients make the advertising business what it is, after all agencies don't usually work for themselves. In this part of the world, the default consideration is to squeeze out maximum financial value when determining who agencies will work with. This 'money for hand, brief for table' mentality hasn't helped the agency business as we continue to lose value and are often priced like kuli kuli. For Image & Time, they set out to look at client-agency relationships differently.
Gbonju also speaks on the type of clients Image & Time are inclined to partner with.
"We are clear about the kind of work we want to do and the businesses we want to partner with. We therefore carefully choose our clients as much as they choose us.
A good example of this will be the team at Union Bank. Before we came on board, we saw that the brand was on its way to revitalization and they were already doing a very impressive rebranding exercise. We knew the people behind the brand "got it". We felt Union Bank's evolution would be a good story to be part of. So, in going in for the pitch we wanted that to come through, and present ourselves as the right partner on the journey the brand was already determined to take.
Not only do we look at the ambition of the brands before going to work with them, we are also very big on the value system of the brand custodians and how they work. In the case of Ribena, we knew right from the pitch briefing process that we wanted to work both on the brand and with the people who manage the brand."
In the past, we did some work on Gulder and the full eTranzact rebrand exercise. Our aim is always to be real partners with our clients, we want to be part of the general strategy of the businesses that we co-create.
Is this little-known agency changing the way advertising agencies do business? Akorede Zakariya, Creative Director at Image & Time isn't quick to make this conclusion.
"I wouldn't say we are completely revolutionizing the industry yet, we're on our way although I honestly think it's a bit too early to tell. However, I think the kind of brands we've been able to bring in house within the last few months are remarkable, and this is shaping up to be a fun ride for both ourselves and the brands alike."
We can conclude by saying, if you are a leader within the agency world or you work in business development, this is the one agency you should take serious note of.
If you are a brand manager or you lead the communications or marketing function of your organization, Image & Time is the agency you want to start a conversation with. Let them help you find your spark. http://imageandtime.com/