How do you really feel about yourself when you say that you've founded an advertising agency? Well, it’s twofold to be honest. We started SuperHeroes 10 years ago, and during this time we've brought together this amazing, passionate group of people that give their best to bring ideas to life. But there’s always a nagging feeling to it as well.
Am I really proud of working in advertising? I always find that I'm a bit reluctant in talking to people about what I do. It’s been like that for a long time already. It must be why, when I explain what we do, I always immediately say that ‘our mission is to save the world from boring advertising’. We aim at making advertising that people choose to look at, and this attitude has probably brought us where we are today (a flourishing international agency). But it’s also kind of sad to apologise for an industry that should be all about energy and surprise.
A little while ago we were rethinking about why we are in this business and what we really want to achieve. Our main conclusion: there simply is too much advertising and there are too many advertising agencies. Basically, everybody is saying the same things but using different words. Forward-thinking, innovative, data-driven, effective: look at any agency’s website and you’ll find the same lingo.
At SuperHeroes, it has led us to reconsider our mission and who we are. Going a little meta, we have chosen to name ourselves the ‘post-advertising ad agency’. We are not in this business to annoy, to pollute, to interrupt or to add to overconsumption. We are in this business to make advertising something of added value. Because we totally believe advertising can be useful, hugely entertaining and just there when you need it.
Adding a human touch
Our collective talent is creativity and imagination. Going ‘post-advertising’ means that we embrace that people use subscription models, thumb swipes and ad blockers to avoid advertising. Together with our clients we add fresh human touches to the brand experience. We bring packaging to life, add intrigue to the in-store experience, surprise people while shopping online and add energy by standing out and earning attention in social and PR. And yes we still use paid advertising, but in a way that it is actually enjoyable.
The greatest asset of a modern agency is to be full of empathy. This day and age does not need more, it needs less and better, so this is what we focus our efforts on. We believe we are shaping ourselves into the creative agency of the future. I know it’s big words and a big ambition. But why not? We’ve got to save the world from boring advertising.
Rogier Vijverberg is founder and ECD of SuperHeroes