Perfect Fools: Growing people and brands
By Emma Rodin | Photos: Alexander Donka
Part of an industry which is notorious for its non-stop working mentality and poor work-life balance, Perfect Fools is the Swedish comms agency proving that agency life can be sustainable. And that by putting people and their well-being first, great work becomes the standard.
The ultimate goal for Perfect Fools is to have the best employee well-being in the industry, while also being the best agency overall.
“To us, it’s less about what we deliver and more about what kind of business we are,” CEO Klas Lusth tells Scan Magazine. “Of course, this is partly down to profit and business value as people who feel good do better work, but we also just want the office to be a safe space where you dare to think big but aren’t afraid to fail. Well-being is obviously a hot potato right now, and we talk a lot about it within the team, which also puts a healthy dose of pressure on me to be a good role model and act the way I expect others to”.
A digital nomad
With 22 years under its belt, Perfect Fools has been around long enough to shape-shift more than once. The agency started off in the realm of digital production where the team helped advertisement agencies create their digital campaigns, ranking them top ten in the world by doing so. However, over the years, the offering has naturally changed in line with society and the market, and the team has gravitated towards working more directly with customers instead of just being the middleman.
Fast-forward to today and Perfect Fools is a go-to partner for any sort of branding challenge clients may have (even though the digital focus is still very much there).
“Whether we’re crafting a new visual identity for a telecoms brand or creating a campaign to increase awareness of alcohol consumption, we approach each project with a strategic mindset, respect and curiosity,” says Lusth. “We pride ourselves on a lack of prestigiousness and work closely with our clients to make space for both parts’ competence.”
Thinking outside the box
Perhaps it’s the curiosity and urge to evolve that has led to the launch of Powered By. A brand-new integrated offering created in partnership with media agency Tre Kronor Media, it is the first of its kind being spearheaded by a creative agency in Sweden. Best explained as another tool added to Perfect Fools’ creative toolbox, this new service brings advertising and media agency solutions into one place, with integrated teams to consult clients and understand their entire marketing needs.
“This is very old-school-meets-new-school in terms of how media and advertisement offerings have been framed traditionally. Just think back to Madison Avenue in the 1950s where a copywriter would be sat next to a colleague buying TV advertisements, both working for the same client,” explains Lusth. “We feel like going back to basics is the smartest way of doing things, while still being conscious that not every client will be looking for this kind of service. But that’s the beauty of the toolbox, that we can pick and choose the best solutions for each client”.
Three notable projects
Perfect Fools is known for its high creativity over a wide breadth of work and a range of clients, spanning all kinds of industries. The agency has tons of successful award-winning projects in the bag, with one being an anti-bullying campaign for Swedish non-profit organisation Friends.
The core idea was to reveal hidden cyberbullying among kids to adults. How? By taking authentic messages from bullied children’s screens and placing them on billboards and pillars around the country. Hard-hitting and real, this campaign proved a success and is a great example of how creating awareness can help make a difference.
Another project to highlight is the marketing concept created for the major Swedish insurance firm Trygg Hansa. Human and raw, this clever project was all about showing life’s most important moments, which included airing a real birth on national TV.
And then, to answer the ultimate question of whether this advertising agency really isn’t ‘just another agency’, there’s the voting app made for Swedish broadcasting channel SVT to support Melodifestivalen – the 6-week long contest held to determine who gets to compete in Eurovision Song Contest (yes, Swedes love Eurovision). Designed to boost engagement, this app helped four million viewers vote for their favourite act by pressing a heart symbol on their phones. Not really a traditional ad campaign, but definitely something that sparked engagement – the holy grail of marketing.
Described by Lusth as a 22-year-old child who always asks “why?” and never accepts “because that’s the way it is” as an answer, the team at Perfect Fools will continue asking the unexpected questions while always keeping people at the heart of what they do.
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