If you are looking for big ideas with the potential to change the trajectory of your business, then you should seriously consider the Smith Brothers. These are not the guys to call if you are looking to slightly evolve your existing campaign. They are the guys to call if your sales are going the wrong way, or if you see a big opportunity and want to chase it.
I first called the Smith Brothers in 2006, when I was running the 9Lives brand (about $300M Retail). We had lived through multiple quarters of sales declines and were potentially facing discontinuation in a number of accounts. But, we had this great iconic asset, Morris the Cat, that we had not leveraged in years, and I wondered if Morris was potentially the only way we were going to change our trajectory.
The Smith Brothers came in, and for their first idea, pitched Morris, originally a rescue cat, coming back, on a mission to rescue 1 million shelter cats. It was a Big Idea that reached into the brands DNA, and one that was squarely focused on our target consumer, that significantly over-indexed with getting their cats from shelters. In fact it was an emotional sense of pride. The Smith Brothers then followed up, pulling out a board, introducing us to Lil Mo, Morris’s first adopted cat in a million. The campaign was a huge success and it absolutely turned the brand around, quickly. Elements included a mobile rescue tour, print, digital, PR, Shopper, Nascar, as well as CP. In addition to returning the brand to growth, we won a number of awards, that helped inspire the whole company, who loved being part of it.
I also called the Smith Brothers to help me on our Pup Peroni brand (about $200M retail), and we executed a similar campaign, based on the idea of ‘Making the World a ‘Pup Friendly Place’. That too was a big success, with many tactics still surviving to this day, including our MLB sponsorship of bringing your dog to the ballpark.
In my experience, it’s the power of the idea that matters. More than anything else. These guys have great digital capabilities. But so do lots of agencies. They can shoot great TV spots and develop great print ads. But so can lots of agencies. But what separates the Smith Brothers is that that have ideas that can change the trajectory of your business.
Call these guys if you are looking for a big idea. Btw, they are also great guys and a ton of fun to work with.