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Mini : Creatives are more than a remix
Advertising uses graphic representations to connect brands with buyers. The more your brand resonates, the easier you can capture value and turn it into revenue. In the B2B SaaS world (and digital marketing in general), these visual models are often called "creatives." While the name is not wrong- they result from creative processes- "creatives" often are distant from genuine creative work. Why is that the case? How does it affect marketing?
Creatives aren't creative... but they should.
In marketing, creatives usually refer to adding an image to a previously prebuilt copy. This text bridges the gap between the value of a product and the values of a group of people, but before ads can go live, they need "creatives."
Overworked designers receive a couple of sentences and 14 placements with an often impossible deadline. With such a rush, instead of using creative muscles, mechanical and standardized shortcuts gain relevance. The process repeats itself for the brand and other brands until we reach a visual spirit where everything looks more or less the same. Ads keep rolling, pipelines keep growing, and creativity and "creatives" become an afterthought.
Ads become a copy of a copy, and the only natural response is for us to ignore them (or block them).
The problem... Generic no longer works.
Using Brand as Place
There are ways to escape repetitive visual representations in B2B SaaS. Among them, we invite our internal team and customers to think of "Brand as Place," the results help us lift brands by pushing conventional imagery out of the equation.
Architect Peter Zumthor uses this framework to understand atmospheres and design his projects. Architecture, like design, is not just a way to organize materials but an opportunity to build memorable and enjoyable experiences.
Zumthor divides his study into five sections:
The Body of Architecture: The materials and their ratio compared to others.
The Sound of Space. Echos, Acoustics, noises.
The Temperature of Space: The sensation of temperature.
Surrounding Objects: The things that people keep around them.
The Movement within the Place: Your movement in that space.
If we rethink brands as a place and embrace these five elements, we can break the remix culture that has taken over our niche. Instead of using "creatives" as the last step in the ad-creation process, we can empower campaigns by using design as a domain (not an afterthought).
Plus, if you manage to go through this exercise together with your copywriting team, the alignment between words + images is unstoppable.
Brand as Place in 5 mins
As a quick exercise, we invite you to revisit your brand visuals from a place of curiosity and openness. Write down your brand's materials (assets), sounds (details), temperature (tone), objects (typography, photos, graphic language), and movements (navigation). Do a quick brainstorm and come up with a new “creative” based on this reflection. Now compare that with the "creatives" you are showing your prospects.
Are they any different? We sure hope so.
Would you like to learn more about using Brand as Place for your company? Please be sure to sign up for our office hours. Our creative director, Alejandra Céspedes, will soon share how we use this approach to connect brands with their ICP, purpose, and opportunities.
You’re in good company.
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