Creativity in de advertising DNA or nah? 

The onus is always on creatives to craft something dazzlingly original but as the iconic American writer Mark Twain pointed out, there’s no such thing as an original idea. What we can do, he elaborated, is turn old ideas into new and curious combinations.

But the question as headlined in this blog stems from soca writers and advertising jingle writers. Is the combination of established soca hit and corporate brand/product lyrics for the creative good… or bad?

A small brouhaha erupted on social media (where else?) when Mical Teja’s DNA was converted to a jingle for a popular airline. In this all-too-short Carnival season DNA is THE strong favourite for the Road March title (at least at time of writing). The conversational fallout on the soca writer side went along the lines of the song itself been cheapened and “force-fed” with corporate product prose and possibly hurting its chances of being the Road March winner. The fallout on the advertiser side along the lines of creative laziness or pure “bandwagonism” capitalising on a trendy song.

Now just to be clear and for full transparency, turning soca hits into a product jingle is nothing recent in the advertising industry – including for us at The BUZZ. In fact, we’ve even done the same to old hits too. Take a sample here…

So how do we see soca hit/corporate brand colab?

Firstly we’re not in the least bit churlish about Mr. Teja’s or any other artist’s success. If they can maximise reward for their work, however they see fit, go through by all means. Imagine if DNA remains an airline anthem long after the roads and road march results are swept away come Ash Wednesday? That’s a good thing right?

Secondly, on the advertiser side — and creative side in particular — there’s no one rule about what’s right or wrong. There’s only what’s right for the brand in the moment or circumstance. Take a soca and twist the lyrics with corporate finesse. Leave the soca as is and just play it as is cause “we like this track jus so”. Write a totally new soca. Have a signature beat and not say a word and make it your corporate “riddim”. Each of these can be right… in their own “write”.

Whatever is decided, just make it inspiring and keep that brand jumping. 

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Free Willie Fuh All!

Tiny confession 👀 When we first saw the Steamboat Willie story, we were totally stoked about kicking off the New Year with a BUZZworthy opinion piece to set the tone for the year. But we were also on vacay so… we kinda stick. But look how, 2 weeks later, no one else picked it up so here we are! 

Just in case you missed it, on January 1st the copyright expired for one of Walt Disney’s first animation films featuring Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willie. It was originally due to expire in 1983 but was extended to 1997 and again to 2024, for a total of 95 years. Other iconic characters, including Pluto and Donald Duck, are set to enter the public domain unless Disney goes to US Congress for an extension. 

Apparently, this copyright issue is a pretty big deal in the US and UK with people actively tracking copyright expiration for characters, videos, music and more. Which begs the question: how invested are we in copyright here? We were all up in arms about whether or not Japan owned the rights to our national instrument and then that died down. And we claim to be the meme gurus, but is anyone copyrighting those? Can we? And what’s the situation with Nagib Elias Guy, the Chubby Man and Peppy the Penguin… Is it that we’ll soon be seeing them used freely, much like how people keep TikToking the Island Finance jingle? 

We don’t really have the answers and, at the AI Symposium we attended least year, we learned that there really aren’t any — as yet. So tell us, what piece of Trini creativity would you be most excited to see join the copyright free ranks of Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh? 

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Our Republican Status: Forty-seven years have gone. How yuh feel?

Hard to believe but it’s been a dizzying forty-seven years of change since Trinidad and Tobago became a Republic. It’s safe to say that we as a country have come a long way since then. But we wouldn’t be out of line to say we’ve still got a long way to go as forty-seven years is still young. A Republic is a lot more than replacing a monarch as our official Head Of State with that of a President. As Sir Ellis Clarke, our first President stated in an interview: “It’s a matter of substance, it’s also a matter that is symbolical of shall I call it the adulthood of the nation. We have grown up.”

The local marketing communication landscape has had a lot of growing up to do as well with so many changes through the years. And The BUZZ knows it well.
As an agency repeatedly taking the leap into the unknown means experiencing the whole gamut of emotions ranging from exciting to terrifying. But it also made us evolve beyond what we initially knew and to develop skills that would provide growth, fulfillment and pride. It’s a continuous opportunity to view the world from a bold fresh perspective.

As a nation and as an agency we cannot simply retrace the footsteps of the past. We must take revolutionary steps forward. While some solutions can be found others need to be crafted.

How do we feel? Optimistic! We’ve got what it takes to be bold and imaginative. We can adapt and succeed in this ever-changing world. It’s a feeling we hope you share with us as well – as there is no limit to what we can achieve together.

Happy Republic Day!

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Happy 18th BuzzDay!

The Buzz celebrates our 18th year – proud of the past and embracing the future.

In 2005 there was no WhatsApp, Twitter or Instagram. Facebook was only about friends connecting with no company pages, ads or even video. Youtube was just beginning. And your phone was probably a Blackberry or Nokia, as the iPhone and Galaxy weren’t invented yet. However since 2005 there has been the marketing communications agency The Buzz Ltd.

Over the past 18 years, The Buzz Ltd has been a trusted partner to numerous renowned companies, creating advertising communications to build brands and drive growth. During this time consumers, technology, and business have changed immensely and the rate of change seems to be increasing at an ever-faster pace. Despite this, some of the brands The Buzz Ltd started out with nearly two decades ago are still with us today – and thriving. This is testament to the constant evolution we undergo to help our clients leverage trends and innovations to their benefit. As stated by Fernan De Gannes, Director Client Services, “the key to success and thriving in this business is to recognize the rapid changes in the industry and to embrace and adapt to them.”

Irrespective of changes and technological revolutions, there are some core principles which underpin all what we do. These include a deep understanding of the client’s business, strategic brand insight and creative excellence. Another core principle that’s becoming ever more important for the future is dynamic collaboration – both with people and ever-changing technology. Chief Creative Officer Simone Jacelon says “Collaboration is key. I’ve worked in agencies that operate in silos and that format simply does not work. Part of our success is the free flow of ideas between our creative teams, between departments, between us and the client, and even with external suppliers”.

Speaking on the topic of working with technology, Chief Innovation Officer, Jason Stedman says while utilising new technology is a must for today’s and tomorrow’s world, its use is best served when based on strategy. He states: “There’s a lot of technology available to everyone, but that doesn’t mean that everyone can make the best use of it. This is why innovative and strategic thinking are so important to get technology to work for you, and not you working for technology. Our investment in technology is continuous, and most recently we’ve invested in AI tools. But to be truly beneficial for us and our clients, there must always be a strategy that carries from implementation to delivering results”.

Looking forward, we are excited to embrace the new era of brand communication solutions, where technology and collaboration play an increasingly pivotal role. Our new Managing Director, Mary Fullerton expressed excitement about the agency’s future in the ever-evolving landscape of advertising:

“It’s an exhilarating new dance! A fusion of connections and connectivity. Reaching people has attained unprecedented levels of complexity and fragmentation. Gone are the days when consumers were confined to geographic location or age brackets; now, they must be reached within communities of special interest. This paradigm shift allows consumers to actively participate in shaping the brands that cater to their needs. With the advent of new technologies and global connectivity, we embrace a new era of connected campaigns, voices, and experiences. These connections form the pulsating rhythm that fuels ideas, ignites inspiration, and propels creativity in the realm of brand building and adding value to our client’s business.”

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