Serious about creativity? Bring it in house

If only I had £1000 for every time a team has said they want to “Do an innocent” with their brand. These teams all wanted to inject a distinctive personality into every bit of their brand mix, from the pack to the website. And they may even have created 1 or 2 nice packs.

But, when you look at the brand a few months later, its back to business as normal. The pack is full of ingredient lists and “Recommended Daily Intake” charts, but that’s about it. That dreamed of monthly email to consumers fizzled out after a couple of editions.

So, how do innocent keep it up? How can they do an email to over 100,000 people every week? And write one new pack A DAY? And have a great blog? And do the innocent village fete? And a nice website?

Also, how come everything is so joined up, and full of innocent-ness?

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The answer is the in-house creative team of 15+ people, led by creative genius Dan Germain. This was my biggest learning from my trip to meet Dan at Fruit Towers earlier this year. This team play the leading role in the copywriting and art direction of every bit of the whole mix, including web content, advertising, pack design and events.

And they aint stopped yet, as I saw they are recruiting more people to the creative team.

Why is this so powerful?

1. Living and breathing the brand every day: no chain of briefing here from brand team=>planner=>Creative=>planner=>account director=> brand team. The creatives work in Fruit Towers, and soak up the brand from day one.

2. Instant feedback: Want some creative? Go and ask Dan. And he can wander over with an idea later, and talk it through.

3. Consistency: same talent working across different media

4. Keeping the bar high: as the recruitment ad states (itself a proof of the creative team in action!): “You will lie down in front of speeding locomotives in order to protect the company, brand and tone that we have created

Interestingly, two other creative brands I met with this year, Lush and Method, both also have in-house creative teams.

So, if you’re serious about creativity, think seriously about an in-house creative team.