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RNN Comms: Value of the 'third wheel' - your agency


Just last week, Pepsi stepped unwittingly into a media-storm with a 2-minute commercial featuring Kendall Jenner that was created to appeal to the ‘hard to reach’ millennials through social causes. It missed the mark…badly! In fact, the multi-million dollar spot commercial was removed by the brand within 36 hours, costing the company…a lot, both in terms of the ad creation costs and damage to the brand’s reputation.


Could this have been avoided? Maybe, if there was a third wheel!


The ad was created by an in-house team and whilst in-house teams know the product and company better than anyone else, as do management, a third wheel – an ad agency or PR consultancy that’s independent from the brand’s marketing and management – may have robustly challenged the creative, filtering it through how it would translate to the audience, on social, and in terms of the overall media agenda.


This is just one example of how a world-leading brand missed the mark, but closer to home it reinforced the importance of outsider thinking. Just recently we have steered a number of clients away from potential problems that could have been inadvertently created both in the media and on social. It’s all about knowing the media agenda and filtering every post, idea and creative via how it will be translated by your audience and the ever-changing media cycle.


Every company - and agency - can get it wrong sometimes, but true brand/agency collaboration includes new thinking, openness and a freedom to challenge ideas. It’s this level of collaboration that can minimise risk, delivering real value for brands.