Spotlight on Quiet Storm

We caught up with the team from Quiet Storm and couldn't wait to hear how they felt about this year's Champion for Change Award.

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Describe Quiet Storm in three words

Punchy, Inclusive and Fun

What makes you unique? 

As one of the first creative agency and production companies, we’ve always done things differently.  Whilst this isn’t so unusual these days, what is still quite unique, outside of content creation, is that our creatives direct their own film work.  Even with the bigger budget TVCs.

Also, creative activism has always been at the heart of our business and deeply baked into our DNA.  We’ve been supporting important causes and championing equality from the day the business was founded 25 years ago.

Tell us something we don’t know about Quiet Storm? 

Trev got the name Quiet Storm from a club that was running in the early 90s.  It was a superhot club, at the time, and they were very selective at the door, turning people away who they didn’t think fit the bill.  Trev could never get in, so he decided to name his agency after it. It was his own form of irony really, reflective of his feelings towards an industry where he never felt like he quite belonged.

What work are you most proud of?

Most recently the work we’ve been doing for Create Not Hate. Spurred on by the murder of George Floyd and wanting to make a big statement at a time when Notting Hill Carnival would normally take place. It left us just over 2 months to secure youth outreach partners and industry support, a media plan our clients would be envious of, as well as brief in and develop a campaign with young people, who had no previous experience of advertising.  Not only did the campaign reach over 300 million people with no media spend, it has been recognised by the industry as creatively outstanding.  It’s evidence of the brilliant talent out there, that we’re not fully utilising as an industry and has been inspiring for everyone who has worked on it.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

When you’ve been going for 25 years you face many challenges as a business – survival not being the least of those.  As the old saying goes, you’re only ever 3 calls away from going under.  

It’s something that you live with every day as an independent business but equally what keeps you hungry and what’s so rewarding about not only surviving but thriving. Particularly, when things do get tough, like they have been this year.

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

The biggest step change we’ve made is moving to an employee-owned trust.  Now every member of staff has a vested interest in the success of the business.  This can only lead to higher levels of engagement and commitment which delivers a win-win for everyone.

If you could give clients one piece of advice what would it be?

Don’t lose sight of the long run. Unfortunately, at challenging times, it’s too easy to look for quick fixes or make knee-jerk decisions that solve short-term problems.  If it’s a matter of survival, fair enough, but you can’t lose sight of the things that make a business great and the decisions that will have a devastating long-term effect.  Short-term sacrifices for long-term gains have always been the backbone to success.

How are you future-proofing? 

We focus on fundamental principles that never change, no matter what’s happening environmentally.  Despite advancements in technology and consumer behaviour, what makes us fundamentally human hasn’t changed for centuries and won’t for many more to come.   That goes for both our clients and the people we’re marketing to everyday.

Marketing predictions for the next year?

I think things are going to be much like they’ve been for some time now but amplified. With limited resources and so much uncertainty it’s going to become increasingly important to develop strategies that work for the long run, but can be activated both in the short-term and tactically, to respond to the uncertainty and challenging economic environment we’re all facing into. Delivering more bang for your budget is going to become increasingly important.  Ensuring you’re doing work that doesn’t rely on media investment to do the heavy lifting but strong, powerful, emotionally engaging ideas that make your media work that much harder.

Best kept secret for Friday drinks (can be how you’re virtually winding down the week or what you can’t wait for when we’re all back in the office)?

Now that the initial surprise and novelty of how well we’ve been able to function, and in many cases function really well, under these conditions, has worn off.  Function for me is the operative word.  You can get things done but I’d question whether it’s as enjoyable and how much lost potential there has been. 

We’re a business in the business of people, so for me getting back to the office, in the way it used to be, albeit not necessarily every-day, is something I can’t wait for. That feeling of comradery and being in the trenches, when you’re all together in the real world hashing it out, just can’t be replaced.

It would be impossible to end this month’s Spotlight On without mentioning your very own Trevor Robinson’s amazing win of the Outstanding Contribution Award at our #OysAwards20 – everyone at Quiet Storm must be super chuffed? 

There’s a real sense of pride in the agency of Trevor and what he’s achieved in his time in the industry.  Not least because of his background and the challenges that would have presented to him over the years. He’s not someone to let setbacks or the status quo stop him and that’s evidenced in everything he’s done and continues to do today.  The industry is no doubt a better place for his contribution and we’re delighted it’s being recognised in this way.

See more about this year's Oystercatchers Awards here.


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