Spotlight on ENGINE Creative

This month we're shining the spotlight on ENGINE Creative.
Spotlight on ENGINE Creative

Describe ENGINE Creative in three words

Restless. Imaginative. Adaptable.

What makes you unique? 

We're proud to be the UK’s largest independent agency. It means we have the scale of a network, but with the agility of a start-up. This allows us to flex according to changes in the marketplace and connect the dots for our clients at a feasible cost of entry. We also pride ourselves on being a people-driven business. A community of more than 800 creative, communications, media and consulting experts, all working collaboratively under one roof to foster ideas and champion diverse thinking.    

Tell us something we don’t know about ENGINE Creative? 

We’re the team behind Cazoo’s brand, experience and advertising. We have been involved right from the start and were even there the day the sign went up over the door. So we were immensely proud when they recently achieved a valuation of over £1billion and made history as the fastest British business ever to have reached the rare and coveted ‘unicorn’ status.

What work are you most proud of?

It’s been a bewildering and, at times, scary six months for everyone, but we couldn’t be prouder of our people and our clients for getting us this far. Our teams have pivoted in beautifully agile ways to solve problems, pulled together to deliver outstanding work and pushed into new and exciting territories. 

We may have been in lockdown, but our creativity certainly wasn’t.

In just one week, we conceived, produced and launched an advertising campaign for Women’s Aid. Shot on empty streets during lockdown. Filmed on phones in our hour of daily exercise. We highlighted the dangers of being locked down with an abuser. 

We helped the icons of going out become the champions of staying in with a campaign that helped Jägermeister #Savethenight by reconnecting the nightlife community, whilst providing vital support to struggling artists.

We helped Churchill say ‘Oh Yes!’ to giving tired parents a break by launching a number 1 mindfulness podcast that kept kids calm and entertained when they couldn’t get outside.

Our calmer-than-a-banana Money Calm Bull was a huge lockdown hit for MoneySuperMarket.

We helped Green Flag come to the rescue to locked down cars with free at-home vehicle health checks.

And we teamed up with Born Free and Aardman to create our industry-acclaimed Creature Discomforts ad that showed for millions of wild animals, lockdown is for life.

To see what else we got up to during lockdown, take a look at our 'Creativity in Lockdown’ film here.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

The boundaries between marketing, business and innovation are becoming increasingly blurred. Meanwhile, customer expectations continue to increase.  
The biggest challenge for us all is ensuring we have the ability to orchestrate extraordinary experiences across organisations and channels, while making it simple for our clients to achieve.

What are you doing to transform the way you work with clients? 

While there’s no shortage of advice and out there – from systems integrators selling experience theory to tech consultancies selling brand theory – there is a massive shortage of real, practical expertise.

We’ve transformed the way we work so that we’re completely focused on delivering value to our clients, at speed.

For us that means talking a lot less about the theory and focusing a lot more on the doing.
If you could give clients one piece of advice what would it be?

A business culture of adaptation is going to be vital in the coming months and years ahead. The disruption that the world is going through now isn’t going to dissipate anytime soon. We believe the brands that will thrive in the future are the brands that are building a strong culture of adaptation now. This means empowering employees to innovate and test new strategies whilst building working processes that allow for transformative thinking so you can futureproof your business in the short, medium and long-term.

How are you futureproofing? 

Culturally, we’re building an inclusive work environment that’s driven by performance over presenteeism. Setting ourselves up, both behaviourally and operationally, to work effectively as a team, be that from our homes, our offices, or our clients’ offices. We’re continually striving to make our business more diverse and representative, as we know that representation and diversity are not only vital for creativity to thrive, but a competitive advantage for a creative business to have.
Structurally, we’ve redesigned our services offering to create modular practices (from consultancy to communications) that can either support our clients with a specific brand marketing challenge or be combined to provide an integrated solution. Each of these practices is orientated around helping businesses harness brand to generate growth.

Marketing predictions for the next year?

If Covid has taught us anything, it’s the flaws in writing any predictions whatsoever.
The last six months have fundamentally changed the landscape we live and work in for the long-term.
Highstreet stalwarts have fallen, consumers have changed the way they live and technology continues to rapidly evolve.
But we predict there will be one constant theme in 2021; disruption.
And in 2021 there will be two types of businesses. 
You will either be a business looking to disrupt a category or a business that is being disrupted by someone or something else.
The businesses that are built for adaptation are the ones that will thrive next year.

Best kept secret for Friday drinks?

Get the kids to bed early. 
You can hear more from the guys at ENGINE when their Chief Strategy Officer, Gen Kobayashi, joins Oystercatchers' main stage panel on Friday 9 October at this year's Festival of Marketing - the discussion will focus on:

A perfect partnership for growth: how brand storytelling combined with data insight can accelerate marketing performance

See more of ENGINE Creative's work on their profile here