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December 2016

fSpace Talks – Thunderclap Creative

By | Event, fSpace Talks | No Comments

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Thanks to Matty McMullen for sharing what he (Creative Director) and Jake Brown (Managing Director) are up to with the small but brilliant branding and advertising agency, Thunderclap Creative.

Matty has been working in creative design for almost 10 years. His journey began with the intention of becoming a graphic designer but quickly found his passion for creativity was better satisfied with concept design and illustration as these offered more opportunity explore shape, colour and story design.

Even with his first job as an illustrator, Matty was focused on telling the story with his designs and illustrations. He experimented with a blend of narrative and different styles of illustration, something creative directors struggled to accept as they could not slot him into one category. Instead of producing the same predictable work, Matty would craft unique creations for each project.

The global financial crisis was a turning point in Matty’s career, his position as an illustrator was made redundant. Some visa technicalities forced him to postpone further education in the USA and instead led him on an inspirational journey through Europe. Matty spent months as an autodidactic as he explored colours, shapes, light and composition in museums and galleries throughout Europe. It was during this exploration that two Monet and Rembrandt pieces made him realize the importance of the emotional impact of art rather than the academic theory – a lesson he continues to incorporate in his work with Thunderclap clients.

Jake Brown, Managing Director is based in London, UK where he oversees marketing, sales and strategy for Thunderclap. Jake also offers his expertise in these areas to Thunderclap clients, helping frame and execute project deliverables.

Thunderclap self-describes itself as a “duo of experienced brand agitators and advertising misfits who keep it small but dream big.” With years of experience in some of the biggest brand agencies, Jake and Matty decided to strip away all the layers that typically come with large agencies and start a small one. They like to foster unique relationships with their clients. Keeping their team small so the people who get briefed on the project are the same people who work on it. This results in a cleaner process, faster delivery, more creative and – most importantly – more exceptional results.

Matty shared a few slides that listed some incredible clients and remarkable projects, events and campaigns he worked on prior to forming Thunderclap, including: top international brands across several industries, world famous international chefs and even a former US President. But as rewarding as those experiences are, Thunderclap must create its very own. So all these amazing clients, campaigns, stories, and creative they have created throughout their careers are not referenced on their website.

However, even in its first year, Thunderclap is making a name for itself. Matty shared their philosophy and strategic approach to branding through a campaign they delivered earlier this year.

WILD MINDED was a 5-week, 360-degree digital branding and awareness campaign for the Billy Blue College of Design, an institute that offers design degrees. While it’s impossible to summarize the core elements of a world-class creative project in just a few paragraphs, a few highlights that are also staples of their approach include:

  • Extensive research (understanding the audience)
  • Leading design and creative (original concepts, core messaging)
  • Strategic layout with tactical delivery
  • Testing and refining in real time (e.g. gathering insights through eye tracking and adjusting the copy to increase reading of the messaging)

The campaign was a huge success, smashing all benchmarks and resulting in 24 enrolments (5-year program, $60,000) in just 4 weeks. The campaign was continued by the client and will be running again in 2017 as WILD MINDED 2.0. It was also nominated for a Brand Impact Award, an international design competition held in London, UK.

Visit thunderclapcreative.com for more information about Thunderclap, including a presentation and case study of the WILD MINDED campaign.

Thanks again Matty for sharing Thuderclap’s cool and inspiring approach to creative.

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