28 Sep 2021

A Q&A on Depth with our Executive Director, Creative Strategy, Dan Monteith

Our proposition of Acceleration, delivered through Depth, Adrenaline and Growth.

A Q&A on depth with our Executive Director, Creative Strategy, Dan Monteith.

Let’s start with a bit about you and your role at bluemarlin? 

So, I’ve been working in agencies for 25 years, I come from more of an advertising background with a real focus around writing and storytelling. The strategy we do is really shaped that way with a narrative direction around it.

Everyone does strategy and everyone does it differently, but strategy must be about creative intent. We’re analytical, we’re always looking for stimulus in data and insights that can help us do something creatively meaningful.

We talk about the feeling of adrenaline, what gives you adrenaline?

The adrenaline for me, and us, comes when we create something truly relevant and compelling, whether it’s one line, a proposition, a design, or a big comms idea. The purpose that we developed for Rowse, “Wake Up to Nature”, gave me real adrenaline.  

Brand Acceleration is underpinned by Depth, Adrenaline and Growth. Let’s focus on what we really mean by depth?

Depth is a lot of things.

It goes to the way in which we ‘get our hands dirty’, getting under the bonnet within the client’s organisation, commercial challenges, their opportunities, even something mechanical. And very importantly it goes to deeply understanding consumers. We walk in consumers shoes, we do qualitative research that gets up close and personal, creatively collaborating with them.

For me, depth is the antidote to what we call ‘design as just colouring in’.

It’s the antidote to ideas that are just novel for the sake of it. Because we trade in change and newness; a new idea, a new product, a new platform, a new design, a lot of people think that the world of design, communication and media is just about selling more stuff to people. It would be irresponsible of us to just be in game of selling more stuff.

Without being too philosophical, we want to make and design things that have some sort of deep truth within them. A pot of honey or a can of oil can represent certain truths, that’s what we’re into.

Has the promise of depth really been a part of bluemarlin for a long time?

The way in which we have done depth has changed but it’s always been there.

We’ve been around for over 28 years so there is a very deep understanding of the way that branding works and the way that certain categories operate, but that doesn’t mean that the old ways are necessarily the best ways. A new approach to depth is understanding the very non-linear, consumer journey which now has a very strong digital element to it. It’s about understanding both the physical and digital world and how they relate to one another.

Why should people care about depth, what difference does it make?

People are surrounded by the noise of communication and the opportunity to buy things. Mass consumerism is being challenged in lots of ways, so I think we have a responsibility to think more deeply about what and how people buy, but ultimately why they buy.

So how does this all tie back into our promise of acceleration?

If you pause and take stock of what you are doing as a brand and how you talk to consumers, and review in a meaningful way, it saves you time and money in the long term.

But it’s got to be purposeful – it’s about knowing where you need to go deep, and when you don’t need to go so deep. I love the mantra “more speed, less haste”.

The digital world helps us to do depth at pace. Very few clients have the time to invest months in long-term studies so depth at pace is about bringing in outsiders and utilising all the positive things that the digital world has to offer, to unearth not just insights but revelations – it’s something quite special.

Want to know more? Feel free to get in touch with us on newbusiness@bluemarlinbd.com