In 2015, Cicero Studios was contacted by a client who wanted to open a high-end go-kart experience unlike anything seen before. Traditionally, go-kart facilities tended to use the same elements over and over: Checkered flags, white and red color schemes, uninspired logos and ad-hoc graphics. The client made it clear that he wasn’t interested in any of those tired visuals for his new venture and so Cicero Studios began work on creative concepts to build up the entire company identity. Our tasks included everything from corporate identity to the collateral items, clothing, decals on the karts and even the interior design of the building. There wasn’t one aspect of the business that was overlooked when considering how to begin the challenge of building the best go kart experience in existence.
Consider these two conceptual approaches to visualizing the idea that homelessness is a problem in America.
Approach #1: A local shelter produces a video detailing the statistics of the numbers of homeless people in the in the United States, what their ethnic and gender makeup is and how homelessness affects the individuals themselves and society at large. The video is scripted and focuses more on the people running the shelter rather than the people they serve. While honest and earnest in its presentation, the video does very little to allow the viewer to experience the true emotional plight of people who find themselves homeless.
Approach #2: A local shelter produces a video in which a presumably homeless man in their care looks directly into the camera and relates the story of his personal loss in an unscripted, unguarded 5 minute monologue along with some vocal narration. Here is his story:
Several key ingredients always go into the making of a successful piece or campaign for a client. Of course your talent, budget and resources need to be there….that goes without saying. But there is another extremely important ingredient that comes into play whether you are a client or an agency: Honesty.
Now, I’m not talking about being honest in your financial dealings or other forms of basic civility. I’m talking being honest in communication, and in the ideas that make it up. What do I mean by that? Let me give you an example from both the client and agency side. Let’s say you are an agency and have a customer that wants to base their campaign around an image or idea that you think is absolutely horrible for the campaign and its goals. One of the worst things you can do at that point is to say “Sure! This is great!!!” and move forward with an idea you know isn’t the best for your client. This is where honesty in communication comes in. While it might be very easy-and very human-to just run with the bad idea, it is your job as an agency with integrity to steer the conversation to what you think works best for the client and their brand.