Q&A with John Samels, Creative Director, Colossal Media
What creative work has stood out the most and why in 2022, so far?
WeTransfer’s most recent project, “Together We Make”. Because it’s authentic and real. And their music selection was tight. But mostly because it spoke to a subculture of people instead of yelling into the void. When it comes to marketing and advertising, I firmly believe in the saying that if you try to speak to everyone, you end up speaking to no one, and WeTransfer killed it by not trying to speak to everyone. Every brand has a broad target audience, and under that broad target audience is fifty sub-audiences who receive information and content differently. WeTransfer is a platform with 40 million-something users, so it would be crazy to think that their target audience is this one all-encompassing person.
Therefore, the “Together We Make” campaign chose to speak to the small world of professional creatives, from NFT artists to fashion sketch designers. With a design background, I’m obviously a little bit biased, but I think that’s the point. It (clearly) hit home for me. As creatives, all we want to do is make something—something cool, something meaningful, something worth remembering. And WeTransfer understood that there’s this big part of the creative process that prevents things from getting made: the review process. From uploading files to rounds of revisions of approvals, this process makes making something quite near to impossible. Instead of ignoring that, they decided to embrace it, and create compelling content that demonstrated how their service can solve these issues unique to our community. In return, WeTransfer didn’t just make something, they made something that stood out.
What creative themes do you think will take front and center in 2022?
Humor because it’s timeless. Social media trends come and go, tech is more overwhelming than ever, but we’re always going to want to laugh. I think that the more absurd life gets, the more people will turn to humor as a coping mechanism, an escape, or just a means to make sense of things. We (brands) went through this phase of creating rapid pandemic-content, and in doing so we made it impossible for people to escape. I think we’re going to see a lot less emotional heart-string-pulling and a lot more weirdo, WTF content that serves as a comedic set. Take Liquid Death, Amazon, and BIC during the Superbowl, for example—all those spots centered around silly ideas and making people laugh. Breaking the law! Breaking the law! Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg roasting marshmallows. Alexa mind-reading. It’s all about humor this 2022.
As the International ANDY Awards are the first award show of the year, it’s often an indicator of the creative work that will succeed over the course of the year – what work stood out the most on the predictor list? You can find those here.
I got a real laugh out of the “Welcome to the Icelandverse” campaign. It’s weird, irreverent, and takes the absolute piss out of contemporary tech. Between the Zuck-look alike and the crazy on-point satirical script, this campaign did a clean job at poking fun of a mainstream pop culture ticket item in a way that naturally tied back to their vertical of advertising. In a sea of ads for crypto, apps, and tech topics we don’t even understand yet (ahem, Metaverse), how do you cut through the noise and advertise…a country? Pretend the country is the Metaverse. This campaign took a risk. They saw an opportunity and ran with it.