OUR VALUES



"Loyalty definitely exists, but it is a characteristic of consumer behaviour, rather than being driven by brand differentiation".

We have a book club here at Silence.

Every now and then we get together with our clients and suppliers to discuss books about advertising. You'd be very welcome to join us. The first rule of book club is that you don't have to read the book.

Book club helps us discover our values.

We realised this while reading Byron Sharp's How Brands Grow, a book about building brands using evidence-based marketing.

One of the things Sharp argues is that your customers don't want you to be different from your competitors. What attracts customers, he says, is 'the benefits of your category'. What interests them is your values.

'Real-world competition is largely about competitive matching rather than avoiding competitors by delivering differences', he writes. 'Loyalty definitely exists, but it is a characteristic of consumer behaviour, rather than being driven by brand differentiation'.

So we stopped talking about why we're different from our competitors and started talking about the values that make us distinctive – values reflected in the pages of some fascinating books.



"Loyalty definitely exists, but it is a characteristic of consumer behaviour, rather than being driven by brand differentiation".

We have a book club here at Silence.

Every now and then we get together with our clients and suppliers to discuss books about advertising. You'd be very welcome to join us. The first rule of book club is that you don't have to read the book.

Book club helps us discover our values.

We realised this while reading Byron Sharp's How Brands Grow, a book about building brands using evidence-based marketing.

One of the things Sharp argues is that your customers don't want you to be different from your competitors. What attracts customers, he says, is 'the benefits of your category'. What interests them is your values.

'Real-world competition is largely about competitive matching rather than avoiding competitors by delivering differences', he writes. 'Loyalty definitely exists, but it is a characteristic of consumer behaviour, rather than being driven by brand differentiation'.

So we stopped talking about why we're different from our competitors and started talking about the values that make us distinctive – values reflected in the pages of some fascinating books.





"If advertisers are aware of these biases, and adapt their products and communications accordingly, then they can use them to their advantage".

01 UNDERSTAND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

The Choice Factory (2018) by Richard Shotton explores 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy.

He argues that 'behavioural science, the study of decision-making, is an important topic for advertisers as it provides a robust explanation about why people buy particular products.'

We believe the best way to deliver innovation and growth from a performance-based digital advertising campaign is to explore a behavioural bias with the creative strategy.

'If advertisers are aware of these biases, and adapt their products and communications accordingly, then they can use them to their advantage,' writes Richard. 'They can work with the grain of human nature rather than unproductively challenging it.'



"If advertisers are aware of these biases, and adapt their products and communications accordingly, then they can use them to their advantage".

01 UNDERSTAND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

The Choice Factory (2018) by Richard Shotton explores 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy.

He argues that 'behavioural science, the study of decision-making, is an important topic for advertisers as it provides a robust explanation about why people buy particular products.'

We believe the best way to deliver innovation and growth from a performance-based digital advertising campaign is to explore a behavioural bias with the creative strategy.

'If advertisers are aware of these biases, and adapt their products and communications accordingly, then they can use them to their advantage,' writes Richard. 'They can work with the grain of human nature rather than unproductively challenging it.'





"I hate online advertising and I'm not ashamed to say it".

02 SAY WHAT YOU BELIEVE

Bob Hoffman is the American copywriter best-known for his Ad Contrarian blog. Badmen (2017) is Bob's insightful and humorous critique of what he calls 'surveillance marketing'.

Here's a paragraph from the introduction: 'This book is not meant to be an even-handed look at online advertising. I hate online advertising and I'm not ashamed to say it. I think it is unnecessarily crappy, corrupt and dangerous and is in desperate need of reform. This will not be a "fair and balanced" look at it. I am trying my very best to make it fair but imbalanced.'

This short and fascinating book slays advertising technology for introducing tracking and inviting fraud.

We launched our Silence Please podcast to discuss themes from Badmen with heavyweights from the British advertising industry. We welcome difficult conversations about our industry because we're not afraid to say what we believe.



"I hate online advertising and I'm not ashamed to say it".

02 SAY WHAT YOU BELIEVE

Bob Hoffman is the American copywriter best-known for his Ad Contrarian blog. Badmen (2017) is Bob's insightful and humorous critique of what he calls 'surveillance marketing'.

Here's a paragraph from the introduction: 'This book is not meant to be an even-handed look at online advertising. I hate online advertising and I'm not ashamed to say it. I think it is unnecessarily crappy, corrupt and dangerous and is in desperate need of reform. This will not be a "fair and balanced" look at it. I am trying my very best to make it fair but imbalanced.'

This short and fascinating book slays advertising technology for introducing tracking and inviting fraud.

We launched our Silence Please podcast to discuss themes from Badmen with heavyweights from the British advertising industry. We welcome difficult conversations about our industry because we're not afraid to say what we believe.





"You'd think that all brands would want to create interesting digital ad campaigns, but you only have to look at most web pages to disprove that".

03 KEEP IT INTERESTING

At Silence, we've been creating engaging digital advertising campaigns that tell stories about brands for over a decade. This experience has taught us that people only engage with brand advertising that they find interesting.

David Ogilvy writes about this in Ogilvy on Advertising (1983), the book that launched our book club. 'When I write an advertisement, I don't want you to tell me that you find it creative,' he says. 'I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product'.

Ogilvy on Advertising includes lots of examples of his well-known print and TV ads. Our favourite is the Rolls Royce ad that says 'at 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock'.

You'd think that all brands would want to create engaging digital ad campaigns, but you only have to look at most web pages to disprove that. An abundance of page impressions has caused poor creative standards and falling CPMs to couple-up like kids for the three-legged race, getting nowhere fast.

When Ogilvy wrote Ogilvy on Advertising, ad agencies handled both creative and media buying, and our work at Silence is reminiscent of that era. Our studio and our media buyers work together to figure out the narrative that makes our ads interesting enough for people to engage with them.



"You'd think that all brands would want to create interesting digital ad campaigns, but you only have to look at most web pages to disprove that".

03 KEEP IT INTERESTING

At Silence, we've been creating engaging digital advertising campaigns that tell stories about brands for over a decade. This experience has taught us that people only engage with brand advertising that they find interesting.

David Ogilvy writes about this in Ogilvy on Advertising (1983), the book that launched our book club. 'When I write an advertisement, I don't want you to tell me that you find it creative,' he says. 'I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product'.

Ogilvy on Advertising includes lots of examples of his well-known print and TV ads. Our favourite is the Rolls Royce ad that says 'at 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock'.

You'd think that all brands would want to create engaging digital ad campaigns, but you only have to look at most web pages to disprove that. An abundance of page impressions has caused poor creative standards and falling CPMs to couple-up like kids for the three-legged race, getting nowhere fast.

When Ogilvy wrote Ogilvy on Advertising, ad agencies handled both creative and media buying, and our work at Silence is reminiscent of that era. Our studio and our media buyers work together to figure out the narrative that makes our ads interesting enough for people to engage with them.





"The more you tell, the more you sell".

04 TEST, TEST, TEST

Claude Hopkins, one of the founding fathers of our industry, wrote Scientific Advertising in 1923.

David Ogilvy said that 'nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until they have read this book seven times. It changed the course of my life'.

Scientific Advertising has lots to teach those of us working in digital today.

This is how it starts: 'The time has come when advertising has in some hands reached the status of a science. It is based on fixed principles and is reasonably exact. The causes and effects have been analysed until they are well understood'.

Hopkins worked in newspaper advertising over a hundred years ago, and his motto was 'the more you tell, the more you sell'. He proved that his ads were selling his clients' products through extensive testing. He'd create multiple versions of a mail-order ad for a bicycle, for example, to work out the best combination of pictures, headlines and copy.

At Silence, behavioural science guides our approach to digital advertising, leading to creative and media strategies that maximise the ROI digital for our clients.

At Silence, we test whenever we can, from the behavioural biases in our creative strategies to the audience and contextual targeting in our media-buying.



"The more you tell, the more you sell".

04 TEST, TEST, TEST

Claude Hopkins, one of the founding fathers of our industry, wrote Scientific Advertising in 1923.

David Ogilvy said that 'nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until they have read this book seven times. It changed the course of my life'.

Scientific Advertising has lots to teach those of us working in digital today.

This is how it starts: 'The time has come when advertising has in some hands reached the status of a science. It is based on fixed principles and is reasonably exact. The causes and effects have been analysed until they are well understood'.

Hopkins worked in newspaper advertising over a hundred years ago, and his motto was 'the more you tell, the more you sell'. He proved that his ads were selling his clients' products through extensive testing. He'd create multiple versions of a mail-order ad for a bicycle, for example, to work out the best combination of pictures, headlines and copy.

At Silence, behavioural science guides our approach to digital advertising, leading to creative and media strategies that maximise the ROI digital for our clients.

At Silence, we test whenever we can, from the behavioural biases in our creative strategies to the audience and contextual targeting in our media-buying.





"Most of us ignore or avoid the torrent of unwanted messages we slog through every day".

05 WE ARE CUSTOMERS TOO

When you work in advertising, it's easy to forget that you are a customer too. We're predisposed to this way of thinking in our industry.

Look at how we borrow the language of war to talk about customers: after we've targeted them, we capture their data. Then we put them into demographic categories with outlandish titles. And finally, we chase them around the internet with 'perfectly personalised ads' without questioning whether that's something we'd like ourselves.

'Most of us ignore or avoid the torrent of unwanted messages we slog through every day. That includes everybody in the advertising business, even if they don't want to admit it,' says Doc Searls in The Intention Economy (2012).

American adman, journalist and provocateur, it was Searls that described adblocking as 'the biggest boycott in human history'.

He argues that digital advertising is broken. He believes we should stop our 'cat and mouse' game with customers by inviting them to reveal their intentions.

He predicts an economy in which customers inform the market of their intention to buy something so that companies can compete to sell it to them. He argues that this is 'the only evolutionary path out of the pure guess-work game that advertising has been for the duration'.

This book taught us the value of standing firmly with the customer in our work. We produce ads that we can imagine ourselves or our friends engaging with because they look great and they have something interesting to say.



"Most of us ignore or avoid the torrent of unwanted messages we slog through every day".

05 WE ARE CUSTOMERS TOO

When you work in advertising, it's easy to forget that you are a customer too. We're predisposed to this way of thinking in our industry.

Look at how we borrow the language of war to talk about customers: after we've targeted them, we capture their data. Then we put them into demographic categories with outlandish titles. And finally, we chase them around the internet with 'perfectly personalised ads' without questioning whether that's something we'd like ourselves.

'Most of us ignore or avoid the torrent of unwanted messages we slog through every day. That includes everybody in the advertising business, even if they don't want to admit it,' says Doc Searls in The Intention Economy (2012).

American adman, journalist and provocateur, it was Searls that described adblocking as 'the biggest boycott in human history'.

He argues that digital advertising is broken. He believes we should stop our 'cat and mouse' game with customers by inviting them to reveal their intentions.

He predicts an economy in which customers inform the market of their intention to buy something so that companies can compete to sell it to them. He argues that this is 'the only evolutionary path out of the pure guess-work game that advertising has been for the duration'.

This book taught us the value of standing firmly with the customer in our work. We produce ads that we can imagine ourselves or our friends engaging with because they look great and they have something interesting to say.





"The production of ideas is just as rigorous a process as the production of Fords".

06 ALL IDEAS ARE VALID

We celebrated our seventh birthday with an event in Soho that we billed as an exploration of creativity. Our guest speaker, Danny Brooke-Taylor, Creative Director of the ad agency Lucky Generals, talked about how he got the ideas for some of his award-winning ads. He related them to the five stages of the creative process revealed in a book from 1939, A Technique for Producing Ideas by American adman James Wood Young.

Young argues that 'the production of ideas is just as rigorous a process as the production of Fords'. In his talk, Danny revealed the processes behind award-winning TV ads for clients like Hovis, Amazon and Pot Noodle.

Reading A Technique for Producing Ideas and listening to Danny's talk confirmed an essential value for us – that all ideas are valid.

We've written about some of the values that make Silence distinct from its competitors, and the books that helped us unearth them. Our most distinct asset, of course, is our staff.

Everyone working at Silence is encouraged to speak up if an idea strikes them. Whether it comes from one of the founders or a new starter, we want to hear it. New ideas float around us like bubbles, some of them popping because they can't survive contact with reality, others exploding into unique and cherished business processes.



"The production of ideas is just as rigorous a process as the production of Fords".

06 ALL IDEAS ARE VALID

We celebrated our seventh birthday with an event in Soho that we billed as an exploration of creativity. Our guest speaker, Danny Brooke-Taylor, Creative Director of the ad agency Lucky Generals, talked about how he got the ideas for some of his award-winning ads. He related them to the five stages of the creative process revealed in a book from 1939, A Technique for Producing Ideas by American adman James Wood Young.

Young argues that 'the production of ideas is just as rigorous a process as the production of Fords'. In his talk, Danny revealed the processes behind award-winning TV ads for clients like Hovis, Amazon and Pot Noodle.

Reading A Technique for Producing Ideas and listening to Danny's talk confirmed an essential value for us – that all ideas are valid.

We've written about some of the values that make Silence distinct from its competitors, and the books that helped us unearth them. Our most distinct asset, of course, is our staff.

Everyone working at Silence is encouraged to speak up if an idea strikes them. Whether it comes from one of the founders or a new starter, we want to hear it. New ideas float around us like bubbles, some of them popping because they can't survive contact with reality, others exploding into unique and cherished business processes.


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