Dutch ad agency, Havas Lemz has been one of the major players in Amsterdam, with clients such as Pfizer, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and Timberland. Its forte has been making companies more social and more successful in business.
That has recently resulted in its B Corporation certification.
Now it has a new goal. It is leaving advertising in its wake to make companies a “force for good in 100 days”. The agency intends to use its creative prowess to steer companies towards a better balance between people, planet and profit. This, it believes, this is the future for an advertising industry under threat from consultancies, social media and the entertainment industry.
Many companies, it says, are in such a transition but are struggling with implementation and as Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands have been showing, transitioning successfully boosts business. These, the company reported in 2019, have been growing 67% faster than the company’s other brands.
“Everyone now understands that business and social success are related,” stated Havas Lemz, chief executive officer, Willem van der Schoot, “especially since we are in the middle of a number of major crises. The problems of our time are, of course, much greater than advertising alone can solve. Society is asking for companies that show true commitment and drive. If you want to change the world, you need a business vision. If you want to be successful in the long term, your company needs a mission-driven identity that drives the entire business. You could say Business x Purpose. The global Havas study, Meaningful Brands, has shown for years that more meaning leads to more success.”
Havas Lemz has already begun collaborating with new customers such as Intratuin, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, NS Stations, Mediq, Pfizer and Timberland. The partnership with Justdiggit, which makes dry land green again, has led to the worldwide expansion of this organisation.
B Corp certification is also about not wasting. That means more focus on co-operation with customers. In 100-day stretches, the agency will work in co-creation towards specific goals, expressed in terms of impact on people, planet and profit.
If companies and organisations enhance their focus and speak out with one voice, advertising investments can often be reduced. That’s the strong belief within the agency.
“Experience shows that 100 days is a perfect work rhythm,” Van der Schoot noted. “Together, we take steps toward a long-term force for good. Using imagination, daring to dream and then making that explicit through three building blocks: Be – what do you stand for? Do – which behaviour does that demand? Say – how do you communicate about that? And what are you going to achieve with that, what is the intended impact? This brings valuable inspiration within a clear timeframe. We have a proven track record with this method, and it feels great to make it our central proposition.”
In short, Havas Lemz is neither an advertising agency nor a consuntancy. Everything revolves around the power of creativity.
Call it “Impact Design, if you want to give it a name,” Van der Schoot explained. “A tight 100-day transition process, for a company full of energy and with a clear proposition in the market that matches the current zeitgeist. We are fully committed to this, and we see that companies are responding to it.”