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15 August 2018
Wednesday, 26th September 2012
Changing the world is not for everyone
The Drum Truce Commission. Competing agencies design posters for each other.
To mark the international day of peace – also known as Peace One DayThe Drum working with Phil Jones of Podge Lunch fame, launched what has become known as its Truce Commission.

They invited 12 rival design firms to put their rivalry aside and create posters for each other. This was a fascinating exercise on a number of levels.

In terms of the big picture, Peace One Day is all about persuading those engaged in hot wars a across the world to agree to some form of ceasefire, to help the wounded get out, the medics get in and perhaps get some dialogue going. But it is important we too lead by example. If the design profession can’t put aside its petty rivalry, what hope is there for persuading those with more fundamental differences? So the idea for the Truce Commission was born.

However, the exercise also gives fascinating insights on another level. It serves as a reminder of why the industry exists in the first place; to provide objective advice to clients, who are often too close to their own companies to see the wood for the trees. Taking that idea to its logical conclusion means that martketing agencies, should routinely commission other marketing agencies to do their marketing. As the poet Robert Burns rightly commented: ‘O would some power the giftie gie us to see ouselves as otheres see us.’

Drum invited each agency to write a brief, which was then sent to the consultancy with which they were randomly paired. 

Cooke with An E was paired with Interbrand – a David & Goliath scenario! All the agencies selected took part except ...Interbrand, who pulled out of the project at the last minute due to pressure of work. Ironically, the brief Interbrand submitted was effectively for a recruitment ad, so let’s hope they get those additional bodies soon! 

At the Podge Lunch a special supplement was produced by Drum with the pairing of agencies opposite each other. My poster faced a blank page apart from an ‘excuse’ for Interbrand not taking part in 6 point type. It was very disappointing for me not to have a poster created by what is effectively the biggest branding agency in the world, but a new agency Baxter and Bailey took on my Cooke With An E brief and will feature at a future date when the Truce Commission is published online. 

Interbrand’s Brief (edited version): Interbrand want to attract the best, most progressive creative talent with broad horizons who are not afraid to change things and fight for that change (with clients or internally) – talent with passion for other human beings, the industry, design and communication –talent who’s curiosity is never ever satisfied. 

Mandatories: Interbrand Logo Strapline ‘Brands that have the power to change the world’ Contact details Quote Podge Poster Job Enquiry Poster 

Design Rationale: I’ve always loved Steve Jobs’ description of genius – which concludes “... the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things, they push the human race forward. While some may see them as crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who think they are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones who do.” 

Image: A para-phrased and personalised version of the quote. 

The typography at the foot of the poster is discreet but ‘Changing the world is not for everyone’ is highlighted and reinforces the message – only those who think they can really make a difference need apply! The Interbrand strapline ‘Brands that have the power to change the world’ further reinforces the message of change. Drawing inspiration from the Number 1 Brand in the world to market themselves, displays confidence and highlights the Best Global Brands Guide, that Interbrand produce annually (information featured on the poster alongside the Steve Jobs’ credit).