Creating a campaign that takes on a life of its own is perhaps the holy grail of marketing and advertising. Johannes Leonardo, a creative agency based in New York, has formulated a strategy around this mindset – one that says that the ‘consumer is the medium’, rather than the destination.
“It really means that the message doesn’t stop at our consumer, it doesn’t just go there – it is super important that the message gets picked up as a mantle for our consumer, who then carries it forward and uses word of mouth, uses their influence, uses their social spheres, however big or small they are, to continue that message and that dialogue about the brand and with the brand,” explains Jeph Burton, one of the agency’s group creative directors, a title shared with his partner Hunter Hampton.
In the past year, the strategy has become embedded at the core of its client projects, including a piece this summer for food company Oscar Mayer, a subsidiary of Kraft Heinz. Part of the strategy is bringing consumers into the creative process and, with the Stupid or Genius campaign, the audience was invited to be the judge. “They would decide on whether the creative we put forward in front of them was stupid or genius,” explains Burton.