This month in our spotlight is Fredrik Olsson from Miami, who's not from Miami at all but from Gothenburg, although he did just arrive this morning on a flight from Miami! This is confusing isn't it?
Fredrik has just been to New York and Miami this past week together with his work partner Gustaf Inger, and as soon as they was back at the office we put the spotlight on Fredrik. Perhaps slightly jetlagged but a good sport Fredrik went on to answer all our questions and show us some of his agencies work.
DB: Show us the Miami creative hot spot. Where are the ideas born?
Fredrik Olsson: In my case it's in the gut.. I know it's somewhere around here, but I'm not sure where.
DB: What is currently the best work to come out of Miami?
Fredrik Olsson: The difference between great advertising and crap advertising lies in the respect shown to the audience and their intelligence. Ads that communicate in a good way always have a large enough "hole" in the middle, where the viewer has to connect the dots to get the whole picture.
The best work we've done have been for clients who gave us enough freedom to create campaigns that build the brand and relationship to the consumer in a relevant and unconventional way. We need our clients knowledge about communication, and their courage.
Slottsskogen park, GG Hund & Katt (Pet supplies), Ikea, Metro (Newspaper) and the political party Moderaterna are examples of clients who have given us these prerequisites to do great work.
Miami Headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden.
DB: How did you end up in Gothenburg, Sweden at an agency called Miami? Miami isn't even on the same continent!
Fredrik Olsson: Late one night me and my collegue Gustaf Inger were coming up with names, each one worse than the other. We knew that we would not want an agency with our surnames as the name, even if it could have been quite funny in our case as "Inger Olsson" sounds like a womans full name. In the wee hours we found out that the other thing we had in common, apart from our interest in advertising, was our love for the kitschy 80s and the show Miami vice. We've also noticed that people respond positively to the name in our rainy cold part of the world.
DB: Bernbach said that advertising should be different to stand out. With this follows that an agencies culture should be different to make work that stands out. What does Miami do different within the agency?
Fredrik Olsson: Bernbach said a lot of good things. We miss him.
We try to do advertising that stands out, not only with it's message but also by it's execution. We put a lot of energy into finding new ways of meeting the audience, to show up with an ad in a place where the target does not expect it. We want to create ads that surprises, rewards and sticks to the audiences mind. Actually, that's a pretty good definition of "guerrilla" advertising. We've noticed that such ads don't only speak to the people who see it, but that they in turn tell their friends about it. The cherry on top is that the press is more likely to read and consider a press release about an advertising campaign if the campaign itself is very different.
DB: Show us some work you did!
"We have everything for your dog, including sanitary bags." reads the flag from GG Hund & Katt pet supply shop.
As you can see there was plenty of "media space" for this stunt. ;) The headlines on the flags varied.
Moderaterna, the "stuffy" conservative political party ran ads that looked like apartment-swap ads.
Slottsparken needed to make people understand that they have to keep their dog leashed while in the park. These modern 'warning' signs were painted on the parks asfalt as a reminder. The top one shows a dog chasing birds, and the lower one shows a dog jumping on a man with is muddy paws.
You might remember our Ikea pillow stunt where we gave away free pillows to tired early morning commuters.
DB: There has been a lot of discussion in the media and the world about advertisings "moral" responsibilities. Sexist ads are slammed, spam is universally hated, deception is employed by viral marketers and "ad creep" where soon every public area carries an ad is getting people worried. While this is a fuzzy question, we'd like to hear your input on this, do you think advertising - the business - has a "moral responsibility"?
Advertising has to offer something, because advertising is always an uninvited guest. It's something that steals attention, and wastes time. But if there is some form or reward for reading it, a "what's in it for me?" answered, the ad won't be viewed as bad but as something positive. The reward can vary, sometimes it's humor, sometimes a feeling that someone understands, and sometimes it's the right information to the right person.
DB: "Ads become information when they're in context." like Steve Larsen said?
Fredrik Olsson: Right. Advertising has to be relevant. Else there is no justification for it. Then it just becomes an ugly and annoying intruder in the viewers world.
We don't think that the advertising business has a 'moral responsibility', but on the other hand we have a huge creative responsibility. We shall treat the viewer like a thinking individual and not try to divert their thought process with a bunch of irrelevant tricks. If we stick to this, and care for our ideas the 'moral' will appear automatically.
DB: Thanks for the chat Fredrik!