Truth & Spectacle Press Release - March 2019

Creative business consultancy Truth & Spectacle launches to help businesses rediscover their own truth and free themselves from existing agency models


Creative industry veterans Ivan Pols (ex-adam&eveDDB), and Alex Mecklenburg (ex-Ogilvy) have joined forces to launch Truth & Spectacle, a creative business consultancy which aims to reframe how companies think about their corporate truth while also freeing them from existing agency processes to enable them to reinvent their creative efforts.

Founded against a belief that creativity and innovation have to be rooted in an organisational truth to be effective, Truth & Spectacle’s mission is to help businesses drive their own creativity, because creativity drives business.   But many organisations now base their creative efforts on their ‘brand purpose’ and this is limiting and holds businesses back.

Alex Mecklenburg, Co-Founder of Truth & Spectacle, says: “Truth fuels creativity but many businesses have confused their truth with brand purpose.  We help organisations uncover their organisational truth, the kernel that sits at the heart of everything they do, just as relevant to management and HR as it is to product development and marketing.  And in a post-truth world, this is more important than ever – we are all questioning who we can trust.

“Truth is an important source of creativity because it combines real data and useful facts with the feeling of rightness.  This unlocks powerful emotions that help everyone in the organisation understand how to create the best customer experiences, from stories and behaviours to products and services”, Alex concludes.

But even if a business uncovers their truth, they often get stuck in complicated and expensive agency models where creative decisions are made by external consultants who don’t have a vested interest in the business beyond the creative work itself.  

“The agency model is falling apart.  Many business leaders have abdicated their creative decision-making authority to outsiders.  In my past creative agency roles, I became increasingly frustrated that the time and money invested by clients into their creative efforts could have delivered much better value, if only managed differently”, says Ivan Pols, Co-Founder of Truth & Spectacle.  

“Client organisations have to be more confident in their own creative skills to become more successful and we can help them take charge”, Ivan concludes.

Alex and Ivan have already put their conviction into ‘truth’ into practical creative and innovative solutions for clients from different sizes and sectors; from large consultancy organisations and NGOs to tech companies and production/ arts companies.

The name, Truth & Spectacle, was inspired by film director Stanley Kubrick who, at the time of making Spartacus, was asked what makes a film great.  Legend has it that he said it needs two things to be successful: ‘truth’, the thing that touches you, the story that you connect with; and ‘spectacle’, it must grab you by the throat and make you want to watch it. The same principles are true for the world of business.  The ‘truth’ is the kernel – the strategy and the story. The ‘spectacle’ is built around the kernel – how that story is told.

Ivan is the creative director at what3words and was formerly the global creative director at adam&eveDDB and Ogilvy in London and Toronto.

Alex is working with a range of organisations including Doteveryone, Social Innovation Exchange, and Sky TV as a creative business consultant and executive coach.  She was formerly a client strategist at Edelman and prior to this, MD at Huge and Business Partner & Global Brand Director at Ogilvy One.

Having originally met at Ogilvy over a decade ago – and with over 20 years’ creative agency experience each – Ivan and Alex have worked with some of the world’s best companies and biggest brands.   Through their work they realised that, more than anything, businesses need to develop a creative mindset so that ideas can be challenged in order to make them great.

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About Truth & Spectacle

The complexity of great customer experience boils down to this: Be true to yourself and express it beautifully. Creative business consultancy Truth & Spectacle helps discover the truth that’s at the heart of an organisation and enable it to be expressed beautifully through products, services, stories and behaviours.  The truth is the kernel and the spectacle is built around it.

About Ivan Pols

With an eye for design and practical hands, Ivan’s career started in marketing and branding as an art director.  As he became more experienced, he started to really enjoy the big, complex projects where ideas must be bought by hundreds of people, influence millions and change the fortunes of companies.  He had to understand how large teams create together and help them make enough of the right decisions to produce a great result.

Ivan worked with Ogilvy and adam&eveDDB on their biggest accounts and finally became frustrated that as the market evolved their efforts increasingly delivered lacklustre results.  He realised it would only improve if client organisations become more creative. That’s why he co-founded Truth & Spectacle.

About Alex Mecklenburg

Alex went into the creative industries because she’s always been deeply connected with creating and making things that she cares about.  After diving head-first into the dotcom boom, she eventually found herself leading big global business accounts at Ogilvy. The meaning of creativity had moved increasingly towards delivering attention-centric shiny executions, with little or no risk.  Struggling with the industry expectation of walking into a room with ‘the answer’, Alex grew frustrated that many clients were seemingly handing over creative thinking, creative doing and their ‘creative truth’ to agencies and consultancies.

She stepped sideways to work directly with clients, often within teams using storytelling and coaching to discover their own truth.  From helping them to tell their stories, she also encouraged them to invite everyone into the story - teams, leaders, collaborators and customers. Co-founding Truth & Spectacle was the natural next step.