That agency with the funny name, Wexley School for Girls, has had it with RFPs and they aren't going to take it anymore. In an effort to reduce agency review shenanigans, the agency is
turning the tables and is out with the first-ever Reverse Request for Information. It aims to eradicate the agency review process of the complex and costly rigamarole of vetting, chemistry checks and
basically pitting agencies against one another to compete for an account. The intro to the RRFI reads: “We believe it’s as important for the agency to choose its next clients as carefully
and rigorously as a client chooses its next agency.”
Explaining why the RRFI exists, the agency writes. "We think it is a perfect way of finding an agency that has the exact same values and needs as you do. When you do an RFP you get responses that are basically good guesses, instead of deep knowledge that leads directly to true insight. All of that time could be used to actually work on a real problem. All of the energy all of those agencies expend could be used on real work for you. We are looking for a client that is respectful, fun to be around and one that enjoys partnering with their agency not dictating to them. Period. We see ourselves as an asset not a vendor. And we see clients as partners not clients."
If you watch "Game of Thrones," you'll love this promotional effort from Sanders Consulting Group which is out with a survey designed to determine which Game of Thrones House your agency is most like. Through a series of survey questions that relate to the HBO series, your agency is properly aligned with the right Game of Thrones House. In doing so, your agency is given some interesting insight into who you really are. Give it a try here.
Austin-based Tent is celebrating its first year working in what it calls the post-AOR era. The agency has eschewed retainer-based work for fixed fee-based work and they're out with a video that shares their belief that because 70% of agencies are owned by three holding companies, they all operate the same way, because they share the same talent pool and because they all compete for the same clients, the net result is mass production-style crap that has no appreciation for talent or innovation. While all of this is true and admirably expressed, it's most certainly an uphill battle when, in fact, the net result of the holding company consolidation movement has sucked the blood out of any remaining talent ad innovation that might ever have existed. That said, we wish Tent well in their admirable effort to improve the agency business.
Remember when Diet Coke came out with that "You're On" campaign and everyone jumped all over the brand and the agency, Droga5, for making drug references? Well, it seems all those complaints had an effect -- and this week the brand is out with a "You're On"-less campaign that is more traditional in nature. And it was not created by Droga5. But the brand assures us that everything is still peachy between Diet Coke and the agency. For the time being.
The Warc 100, an annual list of the best agencies based on an analysis of winning campaigns across 87 different award events or competitions, has named Lowe Lintas India the number one agency on its 2015 list. The agency scored 213 points and was closely followed by AMV BBDO with 191 and Colenso BBDO with 148.
Of the recognition, Lowe Lintas
India CEO Joseph George said: "We have had a terrific run on creative effectiveness this year across the globe; and all the accolades have further reinforced our belief in the type of work we want to
do and believe in."
Chicago's Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, followed by PHD Mumbai. 360i New York was named top digital agency with R/GA New York taking second place.
The Warc 100 is a ranking of top marketing campaigns and companies that the organization says is based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions. The organization does not disclose the competitions that it uses to devise the ranking.
Clearly Havas Chicago hasn't been paying attention to recent research that found open office space to be decidedly less productive than that of the old school office. The agency recently completed
a $10 million renovation of its 81,000-square-foot River North office space transforming two floors of office space into a wide open, unproductive free-for-all.
And get this. The agency used to occupy three floors. Now it occupies two. They say that's because the new office design uses space more efficiently. Translated into English, that means stuffing the same amount of bodies into a smaller space to save money.
The new design has done away with all offices and added all the usual distracting crap you'd expect to see in an advertising agency: graffiti, a soda fountain and a bubble hockey table. They've even added bicycle racks and a "town hall" meeting area with bleachers. Oh, and they've given the new space a cute new name; Havas Village. Because yeah -- it takes a village to raise children and, well, that's pretty much what ad agency people are; spoiled little brats who prefer a playpen instead of an office in which to "work."
Okay, that's harsh, but I can say that because I've been there.Of the new space, Havas Chicago CEO Paul Marobella said: "The big part of this space, outside of how cool it is, is that it's really built for utility and built for a purpose. Creative, media, strategy and account all sit together, organized by account. What's different about us is we can make a decision on Monday and it will be implemented by Friday."
It's really kind of strange -- and, well, depressing -- that actual adults with actual jobs in actual ad agencies that are actual businesses that, you know, are run by actual adults actually need
advice like this, but apparently this is the case.
Penning a piece for The Chattanoogan (what the hell kind of name for a news outlet is that?), Connect Marketing Head Honcho Clint Powell has some advice that really shouldn't be the kind of advice that actual adults need. Kids, maybe, but actual adults? No. In any event, he wrote the piece and if you've worked in the ad business for any length of time, you know full well there are, unfortunately, plenty of people who need this advice.
His advice? Knowing when to say things clearly and in a way that doesn't waste other people's time nor make you end up looking like a fool. He offers up four things that are perfectly okay to say but for some reason, people are too scared to say them. They are "I am sorry," "I can not do that," "I don't know" and "Let's be clear." You can read his whole article for the details but, seriously, you really shouldn't have to.
Toronto-based agency john st. has made an interesting hire. Hoping to beef up their digital services, the agency has brought in "an accomplished entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience
building global digital media and consumer internet businesses from concept through to final acquisition."
So who did the agency hire? The guy's name is Tom St. John. Yeah. No kidding. john st. hired St. John. Like, when does that ever happen?
Of joining the agency, St. John says, “I feel that john st. has done some of the most innovative digital work in the country for some time now, but I believe that there is room for them to lead the broader digital discussion with clients. Analytics, social ROI, branded content, mobile advertising, online video -- these are just some of the challenges our clients are facing, and we can help them maximize those opportunities.”
Working with McCann London, the folks behind Cannes Lions have launched a new campaign that suggests agencies offer to send their worst employees to the festival of creativity this year...because
it's cheaper than firing them and paying severance.
The purpose, of course, is to make one last-ditch effort to inspire the -- shall we say -- less inspired by dropping them into the center of advertising creativity for one week. I guess if after a week in Cannes they still suck, well, then it's time to bid them adieu. Although you will have to pay them severance then, so the whole send-them-to-Cannes thing is, indeed, a gamble.
Headlines to the ads read: "Nisha, Strategist. Has dedicated seven loyal years to your agency. With very little to show for it" and Samuel, Producer. You fought hard to hire him. Responds to every suggestion with 'It can't be done.'" The ads are signed off with "Buy her/him a delegate pass. Cheaper than severance."
Of the approach, McCann London CCO Rob Doubal said: "Although our campaign is humorous, it makes a very sensible point. Why should being a Cannes Lions delegate be the preserve of the already excellent? If we really want a more creative world, as we all profess, we should also be encouraging the not-so-excellent performers to be inspired by Cannes Lions."
Funny stuff, this campaign. Trouble is, now everyone that is sent to Cannes by their agency is now going to have a gigantic inferiority complex along with nightmares about whether or not agency management thinks they’re up to snuff.
Oh, and the poor people who had to pose for the campaign -- branded losers for life!