The Client.

Everyone needs someone to blame for things that don’t work out. For designers, there’s always the client. Blamed for having boring products, making unreasonable demands, making the wrong choices, forcing aesthetic.. the blame game is a long one. And then, at the end of the first day of Kyoorius Design Yatra came a designer who said- “Boring Clients don’t exist. Difficult ones do.”

That designer, was Laura Jordan Bambach- Creative Director, Dare, UK, founder and director of She Says and Vice President of D&AD.  In her words, “You always have the opportunity to transform businesses if you want to.” And boy was she able to support this.

Take a look at the images below, and try to imagine what kind of brand might communicate using visuals like these.

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These are screen shots of videos made for Barclays Bank. Dare came up with an insightful, unique way to promote Barclays Credit Card which highlighted ‘Bespoke Offers’ – Using social media in a way no one had done before, Barclays invited users to tweet to them using the hashtag #bespokeballads. They hired a group of musicians  to compose ‘bespoke’ jingles based on each persons tweets which were aired within a few hours of the user tweeting. Beautifully produced and unbelievably engaging, the ballads communicated exactly what the bank wanted to highlight- bespoke, customized services. Brave, intelligent, fun work for any brand. For a bank? Absolutely incredible.

Laura Jordan Bambach’s company is called Dare. And I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name. Banks and Financial Services are considered by most designers to be the epitome of boring.  Think of a bank and you think dull, uninteresting imagery. Communication for banks in India almost always relies on heavy emotion- aging parents, growing children, weepy weddings, promises of security, plans for the future. Always heart wrenching emotion. Never laughter. Never fun. We’re used to banks being boring.

And Dare turned all of this around. Which makes me wonder.. how?  How did they manage to convince Barclays that this was the right thing to do? How did Barclays agree to it? How did they manage to pull of something so risky? There seems to be immense truth to something Melissa Wiegel of Moment Factory (another amazing woman, more on her later) said: “The win isn’t just when you win the pitch. You have to win the client’s confidence.”

The campaign may be old news in the UK, but to Indian designers, it’s revolutionary. This is where design can go. This is where brands can go. Challenging convention, overcoming resistance and surging forward with an idea that was designed to win. Would an Indian designer dare to propose an idea like this to a bank? Would an Indian designer, for that matter, have a mind open enough to come up with this? Would we have to conviction to stand our ground and sell this? Would we win our clients trust the way Dare did and manage to successfully deliver what we promised? We have solid evidence that it can be done. What’s left now, is to do it.

You can take a look at their introduction video here: 

And some of the best ballads here: 

And remember:

Barclays- Laura Jordan Bambach



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