Doug Kamp was puzzling over how to elicit emotions and empathy for a product that seems about as cold and utilitarian as they come: drywall. But the executive creative director at Chicago-based B-to-B agency gyro knew it was important to get his target audience to feel something about a new, lighter version of drywall that his client, USG, introduced in 2013 and has continued to market heavily.

"It's about trying to appeal to someone and be relevant on a human level," says Kamp, whose agency was named the top B-to-B agency by Advertising Age in 2016.

That desire to pinpoint the underlying humanity of drywall quickly eliminated the possibility of devising an ad showing a photo of the product and some text explaining its features and uses. Put another way, it meant the traditional approach to a B-to-B print ad was not an option.

"If you flip through B-to-B magazine ads, you'll see a lot of product attributes and bad puns," Kamp says. "There's a huge opportunity because a lot of marketers aren't doing human-relevant imagery; they're doing trite clichés or stock photos. That canvas of noise creates great opportunity."