LVB: Klunk & Millan recently won an international award for its work with OraSure. Tell me more.
Gaynor: We partnered with OraSure to tackle the challenges of promoting HIV self-testing among low-income populations and high-risk groups in Sub-Saharan Africa and other international markets. The campaign focused on reducing the stigma behind HIV while highlighting the importance of getting tested. With such a taboo topic, we knew we had to approach this one differently. By lightening the mood and making the uncomfortable more comfortable, the team successfully pushed through the stigma and got people talking about HIV testing. So far the campaign has earned two international awards – a Gold 2022 Award of Excellence from The Communicator Awards and a Silver Davey Award – but more importantly, the campaign has resulted in more people knowing their HIV status.
LVB: What are some of the considerations when working on an international campaign like that?
Gaynor: With any international project, we are always mindful of different cultures, languages, and regulatory compliance. Since this particular campaign leveraged humor and light-hearted visuals, it was critical to ensure nothing was lost in translation or potentially offensive. Working closely with the global OraSure team, the creative concepts were tested with the target audience in 6 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. When budgets allow, we always encourage research to validate strategy and/or creative direction because what resonates in one region or among a particular target audience may not resonate with another.
LVB: Are there any other interesting projects your agency is working on right now?
Gaynor: We always have a lot of interesting projects underway due to the diverse nature of our client base and the unique challenges that they are facing. We’ve been able to help our clients gain clarity on how they approach decision-making regarding marketing communications through data, discovery, and strategy. As we immerse ourselves in their businesses, we develop the skills and deeper understanding necessary to help them exceed their marketing goals and optimize their campaigns in real-time as both customer preferences and market dynamics evolve.
LVB: What are the big trends in marketing and advertising?
Gaynor: In terms of the digital space, the elimination of third-party cookies in the near future means that companies have to focus more on obtaining and leveraging first-party data to effectively communicate with their customers. Developing a solid first-party data strategy is now an important step in being prepared.
As you can tell from some of my answers, data-driven insights and problem-solving are foundational elements here at Klunk & Millan. But at the end of the day, creativity and storytelling are key to connecting brands with their target audiences. While insights from data can help inspire ideas, we can’t forget that more often than not, it’s the most personal and humanized creative campaigns that really succeed in driving home their communication strategy.
LVB: What kind of trends do you see on the horizon?
Gaynor: We’ve all seen the press recently on ChatGPT and while AI could be viewed as a threat to businesses and marketers, we view it as an opportunity. On the horizon, we anticipate the continued integration of AI technologies into the marketing and advertising toolkit. In fact, just last month, Google introduced AI-Powered Search Ads and Microsoft announced that its search engine, Bing, is now AI-powered. The Klunk & Millan team is fortunate to often be selected for beta programs that allow us to test new technologies before it becomes widely available.d