We are an independent advertising agency, founded in Gothenburg some 30 years ago. Our job is to help our clients sell a product, an idea, a way of being. Nothing new then, nothing new now. What's different today is how we think about the job we do. How we make sure that the brands we work with earn their space in people's lives.
The media landscape used to be something we stepped in and out of. Today we live in a world where we shape that landscape ourselves, consume media as we see fit according to our needs, our lives right now. Rational product benefits are secondary to things that matter to us on an emotional and contextual level. Our job as ad people is to find what that is. What people really care about. Then the fun begins.
Traditional mass communication is based upon a notion that there are a number of established channels that we all turn to be informed and entertained. In the 90’s, a TV-commercial during prime time usually did the trick. People got the message and the cat was in the bag. The world is not quite that uncomplicated anymore. We don’t gather around our favorite sitcoms or laugh at the same jingles during the commercial break. We are seasoned consumers who choose our own channels, talk to our own private ambassadors to find out what’s going on. What you have to say is not as important. The consumer is behind the wheel now and the brands are fighting for a seat in the back. You need to be somebody who is interesting enough to make heads turn.
Today, people bargain with more than what fits into their wallets. The new currencies are called time, comfort, control and independence. That's why demographics won't do the trick anymore. Our driving forces say a lot more of who we are and how we function than our age, sex or zip code. And we're not loyal to our new currencies. Just because a 35-year-old streetwise mother of two buys macaroni and cheese on a Tuesday doesn't mean she won't treat her family to sirloin steak the next day. One day saving time is all that matters to her. The following day is not as hectic and she will dismiss anything that isn't organic, fair trade marked or produced down the street.
How to stand out or get stuck in the clutter is a whole new ballgame today. We still need to fight for a slot in our consumers’ lives but it’s not our unique selling points that get us through the door. The seasoned consumers are making their choices on entirely different premises. What impact the product has on our lives matters a lot more than its amazing features. We’re not buying products - we’re buying better versions of ourselves. That makes us just as picky as when choosing our friends. We want to know what the brand stands for before we let it into our life. Hence, it’s only natural to view a brand as an individual. How does it relate to my life situation, answer my problems, my challenges? Will it fit into my dreams?
A brand doesn't need to be in as many digital arenas as possible to prove its point of excellence. The battle is not online. It only takes place there because we all have Google in our pocket. Our purchase decision is at the push of a button. We're able to find our answer the minute we're asking the question in our heads. What your brand has to say on your website or how the salesperson is pitching your products will reach us, at best, after we've googled you, checked with our Facebook friends and called our mother-in-law.
How you choose to talk about what is on everybody else’s mind, is everything. The way you comment, confirm, deny, reflect, assist, take a stand. Play a part in people’s lives. Earn your space.
Valentin&Byhr was founded in 1988 by Magnus Valentin and Christer Byhr during the days when Swedish advertising agencies were dominated by a handful of American corporations. Magnus and Christer wanted something else and they saw a need for something else. So, they took matters into their own hands and started up their own agency with a business concept that they could truly stand for – offering advertising services without losing sight of the main purpose to generate business benefits. Their very first client was a small spice factory in Mölndal. Santa Maria is now well established as one of Europe's largest flavoring companies and a true testimony to our reputation for maintaining long relations.
Valentin&Byhr is one of the major advertising agencies in Sweden currently employing 60 people. We are AAA+ certified, environmentally certified and as independent as day one. And we're still true to the idea that built this company: a great idea will only fly if our client's business does too. That is our legacy and it will always be our backbone.