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May 2024

Audacious Yet Accountable: Bold Campaigns Need to Keep It Real

Marketers and creatives will always face the challenge of crafting messages that not only resonate with their audience but also reflect a deeper awareness of global issues. Understanding how different audiences may interpret or react to these messages is more crucial than ever. It’s not enough to think through how the messaging is going to sound to the target audience, but also how it relates to what is currently going on in the world and the overall climate of things. It’s important for marketers to get ahead of those interpretations. 

Read along as we walk the fine line between daring creativity and sensitive messaging. 



The Bumble Fumble: A Single Line Crossed the Line

At the heart of its rebrand, Bumble aimed to enhance its app with features tailored for a better female user experience, yet the outcome fell short of expectations. While the rebranding campaign was overall bold, tasteful, and attuned to the audience, a particular line about celibacy not being a viable option struck a discordant note in the current context of government rollbacks on women’s rights.

Bumble’s update and message intended to resonate with dating frustrations, yet the update was disappointing in that regard; and the messaging inadvertently overlooked the deeper, systemic issues adversely affecting women’s dating experiences today— the erosion of women’s rights.

To the marketer’s eye, the Bumble fumble ended up underscoring the challenge brands face in balancing bold messaging in the context of sensitive socio-political realities.

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“Crushing” Creativity: A Rare Misstep by Apple

Even giants falter, just like well-intentioned ads can backfire. Apple’s recent advertisement has been criticized for potentially stifling the very creativity it aims to celebrate.

The impressive production recently received backlash for what some have called a ’creativity-crushing’ campaign. Clearly, the intention was to say “We’re squishing all these creative tools into one thin piece of shiny new tech” but in the context of AI taking over and everything creative and analog becoming digital, this piece came off as if they were just killing human creativity.

It doesn’t matter what the intention was because the interpretation was very different and much more negative, even within Apple’s typically loyal and insightful audience.

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Should Brands Address Social Issues?

As brands navigate their societal roles, deciding whether to address social issues is more critical than ever. This HubSpot article delves into how brands can effectively engage with social causes without compromising their core values.

Read more to understand the interplay between commercial intentions and social convictions.

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Saisir le moment

Coming Soon to Everyone’s Lips!

Our creative team is bubbling with excitement as we’re distilling the branding for a new line of spirits.

Keep your eyes open to spot this gem on the shelves.




“So many dicks, so few of everyone else.”

That’s a bold statement from e.l.f. Beauty, who wants to Change the Board Game because the numbers don’t lie: there are more men named Dick (Richard, Rich, and Rick) on corporate boards in the U.S. than entire groups of underrepresented people.

This bold initiative was based on insights from first-of-its-kind research to quantify inequality in boardrooms. It was found that of 4,200 publicly traded U.S. companies, e.l.f. is only 1 of 4 to have a board that is two-thirds women and one-third diverse.

That is less than 1%.


Ads That Could Never (Ever!) Run Today

Immerse yourself in this exploration of advertising history as Terry O’Reilly from the Under the Influence Podcast takes a look back at ads and commercials that would be unthinkable to air today.



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