We’ve been seeing a lot lately from Stamenkovits Stibbe Stalenhoef Schreuder & Orchestra. Not your regular advertising though, but in the form of a self promotional print campaign in trade magazine Adformatie. We’re featuring it, because it doesn’t look like your typcial agency advertising. Most agencies that advertise in Adformatie not very originally create a collage with screenshots of their work and a header that reads more or less: “we kick ass”. Instead, in print SSSS & Orchestra created 6 spreads or so with a bit of long copy on the site. The spreads are about clients that don’t want to broadcast the director’s cut, which is to say that clients are part of the creative process at SSSS. On the most striking photo everyone is wearing pink. Although the copy in the image reads “pink is the new black” – to say that opportunities are everywhere – it feels somewhat desperate.

There’s one with the header “About pitching”, in which Bela Stamenkovits disappointedly says “They judged us too small”. But through the body copy we find out that SSSS likes pitching and that it’s not about how big you are. There’s one about “old and new media” in which Mischa Schreuder shows Ed Stibbe what augmented reality is. In other words: at SSSS you get two generations of experience. In the most recent one, the agency is waiting in a hotel lobby, while the receptionist mispronounces their name – understandable when your name is a tongue twister. It is about investing in your brand. SSSS teaches us that an ad needs to be exposed 9 times before the target group picks it up. And, they add, “on top of it they need to like it”. So advertising is a bit of a risk. And like a salesman saying “I also bought them myself” SSSS shows they also dare to take a risk. Though we are in favour of brands that dare to stick their neck out, we’re not sure if this self-reflective, almost vulnerable tone of voice will do SSSS any good. Originalilty is one thing, but in advertising self confidence makes the money.