Most advertising is terrible, says Unilever

  • Brands should “treasure” the genuine talent within their organizations because most creative work is “terrible”, according to a senior executive at Unilever.
  • Dan Izbicki, Creative Excellence Director at the FMCG giant, warned against slipping standards in marketing during a discussion at the Effectiveness Week conference yesterday (2 November). He suggested that the explosion of digital media had lowered the bar for truly creative and effective work.
  • There’s an assumption [in our industry] at the moment that just because everybody has got a camera and access to a YouTube channel, suddenly everybody is a creative director – that’s clearly not true,” he said.
  • He added that because Unilever’s products are “not high-interest categories for consumers, we need great creativity and great work to cut through that”.
  • Izbicki was joined on stage by Sports England’s director of partnerships Tanya Joseph, who suggested that fear of taking risks within organizations is one of the biggest barriers to creativity.
  • Josephoversaw last year’s hugely successful ‘This Girl Can campaign’, which she said was driven by the desire to be bold and impactful.
  • “The whole campaign is based on fantastic insight – that’s given us the platform to be creative,” she said.
  • “Far too often we [as an industry] get scared and go back to the easier thing to do because it’s not going to be terribly damaging – but we can do something bigger and better and braver.”