Superimpose becomes Futurimpose, changing its approach in reaction to current events
“When the champagne stops flowing, the hard questions need answering” – the design studio’s new manifesto takes the industry (itself included) to task, and “rebirths” based on learnings.
- Jenny Brewer
- 1 September 2020
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
Design studio Superimpose has been relaunched and renamed Futurimpose, as the organisation hopes to adapt its approach in response to recent global events. Known best for its boundary-pushing brand work, the studio’s research arm Services Unknown has also established itself as a source of bigger picture cultural theory and societal litmus testing. Both seem to have fed into the renamed agency's manifesto, which is brazenly transparent in both admitting the industry’s – and its own – flaws and its new ambitious mission.
Founder Ollie Olanipekun explains in a new manifesto how the studio “rebirthed” based on learnings from the pandemic and BLM movement. “When we talk about rebirth, we’re talking about a constant journey of reflection and development,” it states. “We’re not listing prescriptive checklists on how to behave, how to hire, how to listen, we’re tapping into a positive growth mindset – one that is highly attuned to the warping, projecting and feeding of distorted realities to date.” The renewed focus, it says, is “a compass for a more integrated and interesting future”.
Futurimpose, the founder says, is a streamlined Superimpose “fit for a new context” in that it is more purpose-driven and flexible, focused on working with diverse talent, representing new-gen creatives, and partnering with “entities doing good”. This means both working with socially conscious and “disruptive” companies and people, and helping its clients do the same.
The newly evolved agency sets out with one viewpoint in mind: “We change the world around us and we set the new standard,” and as such, acknowledges responsibility and all it entails. It leads this mission with taking a “decisive stance” on protecting marginalised communities, and “not co-opting and benefitting financially from them,” but instead uplifting them.
The manifesto also addresses the pandemic and how it has pulled the rug out from underneath the industry, forcing us to examine ourselves and the structures we live within. “Covid-19 has exposed our weaknesses… tearing out the sutures that capitalism stitched together,” the statement continues, listing examples such as the “tumbling stock markets” and “the biggest experiment of remote work ever”.
Particularly in the creative industries, the pandemic has “surfaced the deep-seated connections and power dynamics at play,” it says, showing how reliant on consumerism the sector really is, and the huge teams of people that seemingly hide behind ‘stars’ on-screen. “These realisations are catalysts for change,” it posits.
“We have witnessed a multitude of entities existing within the parameters of inequality – they thrive off unfairness and benefit from lacklustre attempts at representation. Glitzy advertising award ceremonies, rigged nominations, homogeneous judging panels and festival extravaganzas like Cannes Lions raises questions around necessity and excess. Advertising sold products to the consumer, and the advertising industry rejoiced. When the champagne stops flowing, the hard questions need answering.”
With all this in mind, the new agency has an entirely revised mission, explained in detail in the manifesto, that includes big goals such as breaking down perceptual barriers, erasing expectations, widen relationships, as well as more specifically giving a “platform for unheard voices and democratising the advertising agency model” while also dedicating efforts to creative education, to encourage a more diverse pipeline of talent and support those young people who think it’s “not for them” to find a their way.
Read more here, and watch this space to find out how the new agency and its mission materialises in realised projects.
Futurimpose homepage (2020)