“Let’s go with the risky creative” is not a phrase you tend to hear a brand’s marketing manager use very often. 

Common sense dictates that the proven method is often the safest option and therefore the right direction to take. But, when it comes to creative, since when has ‘playing it safe’ ever pushed boundaries, encouraged growth, got a brand noticed or taught anyone anything new? 

Pushing the boundaries within your marketing creative takes trust and is certainly a leap of faith but safety in the norm won’t prepare you for unexpected challenges or developments that may arise in the industry, in the technological landscape, or within society.

Still not convinced? Here’s the five reasons why you should forgo the comfort of safe, boring creative and start embracing risk in your campaigns.

1. Differentiation in a sea of sameness

Taking risks is a strategic move that will help your brand stand out, get noticed and leave a lasting impression. 

The courage to be different is what sets the most memorable campaigns apart from the rest of the crowd. Not every product, ad or campaign has to be outrageous for this to be effective: it’s about finding new and creative ways to stand out from those around you. 

This approach won’t mean your output is universally adored by everyone, but it will be more memorable to those who resonate with your brand and easier for target customers to find when they’re ready to buy.

2. Safe and boring does not foster innovation

We’re not denying that playing it safe may garner some positive results, but safety in creative rarely breeds innovation. Companies like Nike and Apple have carved out spaces for themselves at the top of their industries by taking the road less travelled and not by following everyone else in their respective industries. 

Embedding a culture of innovation that touches your brand, product and marketing is only possible by adopting a different way of thinking and doing that is authentic to who you are and what you do.

3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

In the hyper-accelerated modern landscape of marketing, consistency is key. It’s so important for a brand’s messaging to remain consistent across all communications — from adverts, to blog copy through to internal communications — but this doesn’t mean it should never change. 

Brands are expected to grow and evolve in the face of adversity or they face the risk of being left behind. Remaining the same will rarely lead to meaningful growth; taking risks and daring to be different often leads brands to important self-discovery and insight that can inform how we grow and open up new opportunities. 

4. Failure is a set-back, not a step back

No-one wants to fail, but failure is a crucial step towards success. Taking a ‘test and learn’ approach turns failure into a powerful tool that provides you with valuable feedback to inform and improve. 

Taking risks, especially creatively, takes bravery and a willingness to be vulnerable and failure should not be seen as a disastrous outcome to a creative risk. Embracing failure as part of the process transforms it from being an obstacle into a guide for iteration and improvement that informs your future output.

5. Adapt or be damned

Rapid advancements in technology, cultural shifts, societal changes and a competitive landscape of an ever-evolving industry make it hard to stay relevant. Taking a bolder approach to creative allows a brand to explore the range of its tone more effectively, highlighting more opportunities to distinguish itself from competitors and stay top of mind. 

Employing bold creative that allows you to proactively experiment with new ideas will keep your output fresh and relevant. This higher level of adaptability gives a stronger platform not just for growth, but also longevity – regardless of the industry or market. 

Not taking risks is the biggest risk of all

It’s important to remember that this is not risk for risk’s sake. Taking blind or wild risks with your creative is unlikely to have a positive outcome —  if it did, it would be almost accidental  — but taking a less risk averse approach to creativity allows you to find new audiences while keeping the attention of those who have already found you. 

It encourages innovation and pushes boundaries, in turn, uncovering opportunity, and providing lessons that steer future direction that helps future-proof your voice amongst a sea of noise.

In a world where we are surrounded by hundreds —  if not thousands — of adverts, with a multitude of brands competing for our attention, it’s time to get bold, get loud, get noticed and get risky.

Ready to upscale your creative? Get in touch with our experts.