Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saatchi and Saatchi: a youthful and unique approach to advertising

By Jordan Kamikawa

What happens when a corporation utilizes both innovativeness and youthfulness in creating their end product? 

I believe the answer looks something like Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising.

From the time we first walked through the doors into the company’s main office this afternoon, I knew that they would be something different. The furniture in the room reflected almost futuristic-like styles, including a pink plastic couch in the form of two connected pods. Bright-colored art lined the walls of the office, which featured a center conference room surrounded completely by spotless glass walls. In addition, the view from the large windows that surrounded the room exhibited a first-class view of New York, with numerous skyscrapers dotting the horizon. The whole sight was really a treat to take in.

Unlike many of the other corporation we have met with so far, we were introduced to a very young tour leader, Erin Lyons, who looked to be in her mid-twenties. Her extremely extroverted and charismatic personality was evident from the outset, as she explained a little background on Saatchi and Saatchi and what they do. She then proceeded to show us a short video, which many of the other companies have not really used so far. About a half-dozen commercials produced by Saatchi and Saatchi were shown, some reaching the audience through heart-warming messages and others intending to get a good laugh.

The next part of our meeting involved a full tour of the facilities, which really blew me away. The trendy and tasteful look of the whole place really impressed me, as most rooms featured wide-open spaces, bright colors, and modern furniture. She also led us to a display of art pieces created by their company, which endorsed brands such as Cheerios, Tide, and Saran-Wrap in fun, unique ways. The last part of our tour took us to the top of the building, which featured not only a staffed gym, but also an outside running track that was surrounded by a 360 degree view of the entire cityscape.

However, the tour not only highlighted the beauty of their office, but also revealed some of the company’s values as well. Erin explained that there was also a functional reason behind most of their layout, one example being that the large open offices created an environment that encourages cohesiveness and teamwork. In addition, much of their company seemed to operate on positive principles like this, including a term that is very key to their organization called “lovemarks.” This term basically reflects a relation to a certain brand or product that is highly endeared, particularly to the point where the consumer feels like they can’t live without it. These “lovemarks” are the backbone for all of their work, which frames their optimistic approach to advertising. 

Also, Saatchi and Saatchi makes it a point to emphasize messages promoting emotions and human nature through simple stories. One instance of this took form in a JcPenny’s commercial we were shown, which centers on a little girl dreaming about flying to the north pole and her adventures to accomplish this. I thought that this attention to small details of life made the advertisements powerful and hard-hitting. Also, Saatchi and Saatchi also supports organizations that deal with aid-giving and sustainability causes, such as Unicef. All of these examples of the company’s firm morals and attention to positive causes really furthered my interest in them.

Overall, the entire meeting was well organized and gave us a inside look into how an advertising agency is run with a fresh mindset and style that could pave the way for future advertising.

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