As a challenger agency, we’ve always sought to challenge the received wisdom of doing things. Strategically, Michael has ensured we resisted the temptation to join in with the “crystal ball” planning of trying to predict how COVID had changed consumer behaviour and the role of brands. Instead, he took inspiration from Jeff Bezos, and created a counter-point to the crystal ball called Compass Planning. Bezos famously stated that he looked for opportunities in the early stages of Amazon by analysing behaviours that didn’t change, irrespective of the major changes happening around us.
Taking that philosophy forward, Michael analysed what happened in major catastrophes of the last 20th century and noted that escapism, in the form of exponential demand for the comedy genre of movies, was a consistent reaction to the challenges they were facing. It’s what inspired him to recommend an idea to Compare The Market that not only enabled them to overcome the challenge of providing a restaurant and cinema based rewards scheme that was suddenly defunct, but was exactly the type of escapist, feel good, collective experience which the nation was desperate for: a global reunion of Take That.
We won’t pretend it’s been easy, but we’re extremely fortunate at VCCP to have had the strategic leadership of Michael to make sure that our year has not been one defined stagnation, but has instead seen us create some of our best work to date and secure a host of huge new business wins.