July 29, 2016

Unity Culture Club: On Your Radar – 29.07.16

We don’t often start On Your Radar with a psychologist who historically divided opinion, but as Carl Jung is an often-cited inspiration here at Unity, we’re going to.

He talked about archetypes, which are embodiments of the collective unconscious or very typical examples of people or things. In the minds of both brand owners and the public, a brand archetype makes the brand easier to identify. All good so far. However, more meaningful connections are created between brands and people when these norms are disrupted. In short, campaigns and movements that subvert expectations to shock or surprise are the ones that will be remembered.

At Unity, we prioritise creating meaningful engagements with an audience – and find that the connection is most strongly felt when created through disruptive tactics, such as inciting awe, humour, or surprise.

So, we’re taking our cues from those who turn the norm on its head and look to challenge the status quo in order for their cause or work to be noticed. After all, what’s a more interesting story; dog biting man or man biting dog?


Street art has often given the under-represented a platform to showcase their free-thinking. In the western world this genre is synonymous with guys wearing scarves and handling a spray can and is now less disruptive as it appears on many a street corner.

However, recently three female artists from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Kabul and Quito have broken through boundaries and thrown their presence into public consciousness, disrupting the norm and expectations in countries where men usually rule the roost.

These artists are bringing issues such as equality, body stereotypes and discrimination to the fore through their evocative street art. By simply giving themselves a voice and a platform, these women are defying gender stereotypes in their home cities making people sit up, take notice and engage with their opinions. Banksy who?

Find out more here


Punk is the archetypal depiction of disruption – and its anarchic blood still runs strong in the followers of the movement. Its heyday has been brought to life at London’s Michael Hoppen Gallery, at an exhibition of vintage press prints that runs until August 26th and features images of the movement’s leading lights, including Vivienne Westwood, Siouxsie Sioux, and Johnny Rotten.

Despite once being a punk strong-hold, the wealthy King’s Road – home to the exhibition – is now mostly a Sloane hang-out of the coiffed and wealthy. By setting images from the period in such a backdrop, “PUNK” drives a nose ring through the expectations of art and photography in the area.

Find out more here


Of course, we couldn’t talk about this subject without including the Guerrilla Girls – one of the most significant and disruptive art groups of the last century.

Revisiting their 1986 poster ‘It’s Even Worse In Europe’, the first dedicated exhibition of their work in the UK will also feature new statistics and information about the current state of continental museums and galleries. As always, they will be ruthlessly assessing the representation of female artists, as well as those who are gender non-conforming, or from under-represented countries.

While not until October, this is one to book early – particularly as the exhibition features a lecture on the group’s activity in the past and the work that still needs to be done.

Find out more here


When you think of provocative, attention-grabbing brands, the fearless Paddy Power instantly jumps to mind. The perception of the brand has moved far from an Irish high-street bookie to one of the most entertaining brands on social media, through their powerful tactics of awe, humour and surprise – underpinned by a cheekiness that happens reactively and in real-time. With examples of stunts taking the form of Daft Punk impersonators crashing the Brits to a footballer revealing branded boxers, audiences can’t take help but take notice, driving fame, conversation and compulsion to follow.

On Tuesday we heard from Phil Lloyd the Head of Advertising at Paddy Power at our #JoinTheDots… breakfast briefing, where he discussed this rule-breaking and (importantly), how to do it:

  1. Be a fearless provocateur
  2. Make mistakes
  3. Always stay on point

To receive more information on this briefing or upcoming events, please email jointhedots@hellounity.com


Last but not least, we’re standing out from the crowd again, with ten nominations for this year’s PR Week Awards – including Mid-Sized Consultancy of the Year, and our work for Direct Line and Marks & Spencer. Seems like causing a stir is getting our clients noticed for all the right reasons, and this year it has made us more awarded than all of our agency peers. Here’s to still making waves, say all at Unity, and we salute all of those who do.

Find out more here