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Making templates great again – A deep dive into Saatchi & Saatchi Trinity

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Templates are not exciting and they are certainly not creative. That, at least, is the pervasive narrative in ad land. Ask your average creative director what they think of the “creative potential of templates” and they’d likely scoff derisively. Given the history of boilerplate ads created by marketing templates like Monday.com, I’d tend to agree with them.

But the latest project from Saatchi & Saatchi is anything but boilerplate. In fact, having sat down recently with Creative Director Jon Lefley, I can honestly say it’s one of the most potentially exciting and (dare I say it) game-changing things to happen to the world of fast advertising (#fastvertising) since the dawn of social media.

The holy trinity

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So, what actually is Trinity? As Jon explains to me, it’s essentially “a self-serve creative content platform that lets brands expedite the process when it comes to quickly and effectively deploying digital content.” In other words, it’s a completely customisable platform that allows brands to create compelling content in literal minutes that might previously have taken hours.

This allows them to be more reactive to breaking news, trends and more, keeping their content relevant while also ensuring that everything falls within the brand values. Jon says that the name Trinity was chosen to “reflect the three core pillars of creative craft, the protection of campaign integrity and production transformation and the theory behind it is a modular approach to templates that allows anyone to create on-brand, on-campaign content, on-demand” and do so from their desktop or tablet within minutes. But how does it actually work?

A modular approach to marketing

Taking me through the system, Jon laid out Trinity as a pretty intuitive package. The front end (which is tailored uniquely to each brand) consists of a series of options that can be selected and edited on-the-fly. This includes wording, images and even relevant videos, each of which are grouped and searchable.

Once completed, the content can then be generated instantly and shared across multiple platforms in various preconfigured styles and permutations. This means potentially dozens of highly useable ads being created, shared and published within literal minutes. For brands that wish to remain relevant and front and centre in people’s minds, this could be an absolute lifesaver.

As Jon himself says: “Trinity is the easiest way for anyone, anywhere to create campaign content in moments. We take care of the craft and creativity, so users can create the bespoke content they need, when they need it. What previously may have taken weeks or even months now takes minutes, it’s game-changing content creation.

Before sitting through the demonstration, I would have assumed this to be little more than posturing, but he isn’t half right. The speed and efficiency with which he was selecting and finalising work was overwhelming and the results, while admittedly quite basic, were certainly useable and better than some work I’ve seen put together over the course of a day. And this took less than the time it takes to boil a kettle.

My only initial concern going in was that Trinity would be too heavily based around artificial intelligence and while Jon admits they are looking into using more AI in future, Trinity was designed from the ground up to be a creative tool first and foremost.

Yes, these are templates so there is always going to be some overlap, but each brand is given their own bespoke front end and there are millions of potential combinations of graphics, videos and audio clips and it’s all designed to be completely on-brand for each individual company.

The future of fastvertising

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While Trinity has yet to rollout on a wide scale there are already many clients from across the Saatchi & Saatchi network that are working together with Jon and his team to bring Trinity into their workflow.

While I can’t list any by name, I will say a high-profile fast-food brand, hotel chain and telecommunications firm are all signed sealed and delivered as far as Trinity is concerned. One popular travel company even opted to act as a guinea pig for the programme with pretty stunning results.

Will it ever completely replace quality traditional advertising? Of course not but then that’s not the idea. The idea, as I understand it, is to offer creatives access to immediate, bespoke content that can be as reactive and relevant as possible. It’s another tool in the agency and brand toolkit that could cut the creation of everything from social media spots to TV ads down to minutes, allowing brands to act on trends as and when they happen, not weeks later after the horse has already bolted.

It's not the complete future of advertising but it’s definitely the future of fastvertising and I can’t wait to see what Jon and the team come up with next!

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