What won’t change in a post-pandemic world

With talk starting to turn to a post-pandemic world and the ‘new normal’, we think certain things will remain the same, and be more important than ever.

The long-term relationships between brands and their agencies being at risk isn’t new. In the post-pandemic period, is it something that will come under more pressure, or less? Will brands want more flexibility with a project by project basis, new agencies with new ideas, or will they be looking for the security of retainers? Only time will tell.

What is certain is that event organisers will want someone who understands their challenges better, and who can come up with a creative solution. Our agency has core values that have held us in good stead allowing us to deliver this for clients:

  • Sustainability
  • Honesty
  • Creative
  • Focus
  • Collaboration
  • Service

And we believe they will continue to do so after this period.

We’re fortunate in that we’ve had some awesome long-standing clients over the last 10 years. It’s taught us a lot about relationships, respect and how to deliver better for you.

Monkey Shoulder have been a client for as long as we can remember. In this blog we’ll give you practical insight on improving client and agency relationships, and look at examples of where it’s worked. Sound good? Then read on…

It’s good to talk

Without stating the blindingly obvious, the understanding between the client (you), and the agency (us) is so important. We need to get what’s a pain in the arse for you, know what keeps you awake at night, and ultimately develop a knowledge of your strengths and what you’re shooting for.

With Monkey Shoulder they aren’t a run-of-the-mill dram. Not even close. Tradition? You keep it, Monkey Shoulder walks a different path. When we started working with them they were new to the Blended Whisky marketplace, so we decided in the beginning stages that building the brand needed to be founded on concrete footings.

We know you are time poor

Strangely, good briefing is still seen as an industry issue. We get you’re under pressure juggling multiple balls, and we don’t want to waste your time, or frankly ours. By spending time being super clear and nailing this part of the project, it means your agency can deliver the best value over the course of the project.

For Monkey Shoulder over and above, it was so important to champion the brand and its 4 pillars; The Product, Mixability; World Personality and Brand Ambassadors to being to life the World of Monkey Shoulder. Without really getting this at the start of the relationship, we would have been wide of the mark and not laid the foundations that make them unique. This sort of miss can result in off-piste creative and more time spent correcting it down the track. A strong briefing saves time later.

Understanding the strategy, the scope & smashing objectives

This sets out exactly what you want to achieve and how the event experience will deliver value, and combines all the elements that will give you wow factor. Honesty is so important, and transparency on whether the scope is deliverable alongside the objectives. If this is fudged, the results aren’t great.    

With Monkey Shoulder our approach to defining our audience was straight out of their playbook. As well as a demographic breakdown, we wanted to hit people with a certain Monkey Shoulder attitude. We hit them with massive impact, HUGE engagement, and a truly personal approach. Fun, transgressive and ground-breaking characterised the activity that Monkey Shoulder brought to the category and not a traditional Whisky moment in sight.

Considered targeting and creativity

Most other brands operate at standalone calendar events, but we created a 360° ‘always on’ campaign using our very own mobile sampling bar with immersive activations, The Monkey Shoulder Drinks Trolley and SWAT Team hit squad. The office tea trolley served up a playlist of hip hop, funk and pre-batched drinks introducing consumers to the category through cocktails. We took malt to the masses outside the traditional whisky channels, hitting the London Coffee Festival, ambushing office happy hours, gate-crashing wine festivals, Taste of London, Festive of Taste, London Cocktail Week, and retail launches.

We have worked closely with the Monkey Shoulder Brand Team using a very considered approach. We’ve used our long experience in BTL methods to accurately target and engage with their core audiences. Because of that, Monkey Shoulder has now become the marketing leader in Blended Whisky and were voted the world’s top trending scotch four years in a row.

How will this unfold

To be honest, no one really knows. The last few months have been an incredibly tough time for the world. With events cancelled or postponed on mass scale, brands are facing an uncertain path in how to bring them back. One of the things we’ve learned is the importance of openness, trust, and respect for each other. We also get that great ideas can come from anywhere, and collaboration will be so important in future with innovating approaches to experiential. We’ve delivered our best work using these values.

Brands and their experiential events agencies need to work harder than ever at talking through their issues and concerns. By using these values, we can look forward to setting the right conditions for an awesome partnership.

These values aren’t revolutionary, but they work. And we believe this is the way forward.