WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Did you take a look?

Did you have a peek? Feast your eyes, or have a gander? Was it a casual glance, a rubberneck, or the full Blue Steel?

When we first started in business, we wondered if our name was going to take on a life of its own. It did take some time to formulate. Our name needed to reflect exactly who we are and what we do. As brand strategists, our job is to catch people’s attention.

Once the phone started ringing, we’d get a bemused silence and generally a “hah!” in response. Some would say “that’s awesome”, others would reply with “well you made me look”, or sometimes even “made you look you dirty chook!”

Seven years later (and seven years of hilarious phone calls), Made You Look has launched a total rebrand. We’re practicing what we preach, and think that our new look, feel and yes, even smell, reflects even better who and what we actually are.

Do we create engaging designs for print, digital, and more? Look over here. Do we execute integrated branding campaigns for major clients? Train your gaze here or here. Do we use visual and verbal language to create engaging stories for our clients and their customers? Mooch over there. Through print, digital and online, we want to share our belief that creating great brands is so much more than just a beautiful design. It’s how that design makes you act.

One way we wanted to create a memorable first impression was with a simple piece of communications – our wood business card.

While it surely adds another 2kg to the daily walk to work, we’ve found it amazingly effective in catching people’s attention. People play with it during meetings, they pop it on their desk, and in one recent example, a healthcare client used it to prop open a door during an emergency at her hospital! While business cards generally have more mundane purposes, we’d like our clients to create just as memorable an impression on their audience.

As we develop the MYL blog this year, we’ll share more of our ideas: branding, great design, marketing and more. What gets us out of bed in the morning, and what keeps us firing during the day.

So…how do you make people look?

1000 PICTURES TELL AN AMAZING STORY

Are you familiar with Stock Photos? The executive leaping on the desk who’s mad as hell? Or the woman who’s always got a headache? What about the girl making a heart shape with her hands?

While there seems to be a stock photo for every weird or imaginary situation in life, it’s rare that a business can find one that actually articulates what is unique to them. As a result, when it comes to developing strong visuals for their brand, people often put photography in one of two baskets: ‘too-hard’ or ‘think about later’.

When we rebranded Made You Look, my task as Creative Director was set from the start. We needed to communicate what we do using real people and real expressions.

After an extensive search for reference material, I realised that we’d only get authenticity by taking our own shots. Our work connects with our clients’ target audience, then gets them to think, feel and ultimately act or change their behaviour. We help our clients to cut through the sea of sameness. So I needed to find something more meaningful than beautiful people laughing madly and throwing flower petals in the air!

The range of audiences our clients communicate with cover all ages, ethnicities and genders. As great brands know their target audience, we know ours. So we rousted out 14 close friends and family members – this way we could tap into their interests and passions for a genuine response.

On the day, director/actor Rohan Jones coordinated the shoot. With his background in acting he really brought the creative brief to life.

To get that ‘naturalness’ we were after, Rohan had to make everyone comfortable. Supplied with some background information on their passions and interests, he knew what would get a reaction. His tone was that of a friend who is keen to find out all your latest news. He also had the list of words he needed (like ‘happy’ or ‘engaged’) so he could lead the chat in a direction that would get a genuine emotional reaction.

On a 32-degree day, and with a huge spread on hand to fuel the artistic fire, our ‘models’ got ready (our head creatives are Greek – to provide a feast that doesn’t make the table bend in the middle is an insult). They chatted with the director as photographer Zaharoula Harris was busy lining up her shots and lighting.

Their conversations took unexpected twists and turns. The honest responses to the discussion could not be recreated. Had we not had on hand talented videographer Jonathan Zoch, these moments would have been gone forever.   

As for the end result, you can see for yourself there’s some fantastic expressions in there! All our models had a story to tell. They showed their vulnerable side, their fun, serious, or shy sides, but all of them gave us an honest response.

Their warmth and directness brought our brand to life with visuals that work meaningfully with the values of Made You Look. We saw laughter and waterworks, we saw heartache, nerves, passion, confidence, love and admiration from all of them. What an experience. It’s not every day you get to create such personal images to connect with your message.

Shoot credits:

Art Director Maria Stavrakis, made you look
Photographer Zaharoula Harris, Zed Photography
Director Rohan Jones, Adventures in Genre
Videographer Jonathan Zoch, Inspireworks

And a big thanks to all our lovely models, as well as actress, director, and executive coach Glenda Linscott who got us on the right track to creating an amazing shoot.