January 14, 2017 - No Comments!

Interview with Tom Sharp, creative director of The Beautiful Meme

D&AD, The Beautiful Meme

In this series, agency brand expert Karla Morales-lee interviews agencies that stand out from the crowd and asks them what makes them different and better to the competition?

1. What kind of agency is The Beautiful Meme?

We’re a creative studio. We add charisma to brands. We were founded by Tom Sharp, a copywriter, and Ben Haworth, a designer.

Our work bounces between subversive, surreal, poetic, witty and romantic. We’ve worked with Design Museum, AXA PPP, English National Ballet, Cass Art, Innovate UK, V&A, British Council, Goethe Institute, D&AD and Google.

2. Why is your business in business? What frustrates you/do you seen as broken that you want to make better?

I love writing, Ben loves designing. We both love ideas and creating bits of culture and moving people. We believe in the intelligence of audiences. That’s why we started The Beautiful Meme. We think, just as much as artists, our industry has the opportunity to positively change culture and consciousness. We don’t think this is incompatible with brands making money. In fact we think it’s the future.

3. Is their anything specific about your business that makes you stand out from the competition? E.g People, process, services, structure, promotion, pricing, office, culture etc?

Neither Ben or I have worked in agencies other than our own, so I suspect we approach projects atypically. In terms of our creative, it tends to be the poetic qualities – both in the words and the art direction – that people are fans of.

4. How do you raise awareness of your business with clients and the industry? Have you ever done any original marketing for self-promotion? If so, what? What's worked for you?

Most of our work comes from recommendation but we do occasionally approach brands directly if we think there’s a good cultural match. Our Twitter account (@beautifulmemes) is a cut-up of our studio conversations and ideology. It often draws people to us.

Mostly though we also invest profits into our own artistic experiments. These are often in the form of Happenings. They are ways for us to explore new ideas, new mediums and new aesthetics. People are invited and the word-of-mouth we get inevitably leads to interesting opportunities.

We held a Data Party in the Design Museum a couple of years ago that still gets talked about. It was much more fun than ‘data party’ sounds. Most recently we turned our poetry into design installations and encouraged people to get bacchanalian amongst it.

5. 10 years from now you are awarded 'Agency of the decade' by Campaign mag. Complete this sentence from the opening paragraph:

"The Beautiful Meme has been named AOD because... "

…they were right. It WAS the future.


Does you agency need differentiating? Contact karla@hunterandfarmer.com for more information on how you can identify, articulate and market what makes your agency different and better.


Published by: admin in New Breed

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