Of the importance of staying abreast of changes in the digital space, Deutsch LA Chief Digital Officer Winston Binch says: “If you’ve been in the business for a while,
particularly on the creative side, and are not open-minded and curious to learn new things, someone’s going to take your job.” That sentiment is reflective of many in the industry, some of
whom are going back to school, attending workshops or taking courses to keep current.
Deutsch offers what it calls D School, an annual course offered to everyone in the agency to -- as Binch says -- "give everyone a brush up on digital, make them aware of the landscape and expose them
to some of the opportunities.” And he thinks the ad schools just aren't cutting it anymore. He adds: “There are lots of kids coming out of ad school that still want to do TV spots,
but the reality is more and more has to be designed for the Internet, the Internet is first. We really want to help everyone here get the tools and the abilities to get really fast creative.”
Making note of the sad fact that 20 CEOs of creative agencies have lost their jobs in the past 12 months, Avi Dan, writing in Forbes, worries that Madison Avenue's shift from focusing on profit versus big ideas is gravely harming the practice of advertising. He writes: "The growing bottom line orientation of Madison Avenue could affect agencies culturally and lead them to become more risk averse, and damage their value proposition to their clients. Ideas and innovation are born out of a culture of risk taking. And agencies at their best are always an independent voice, pushing the envelope. Will an attitude of 'holding to the client at all cost' mitigate that spirit and encourage agencies to become conformists?" Sadly, yes and sadly, that's exactly what is happening. Which is why we see so much lame work coming out of agencies lately. Management by consensus and approval by committee is killing this business. Do we have the guts to put the brakes on this impending train wreck?
MRY has said goodbye to six of its developers. Of the layoffs, MRY Chief Marketing Officer David Berkowitz said: “We unfortunately did have to part ways with a few of our colleagues earlier this month as part of normal reshaping based on industry demand. MRY continues to grow, though, and we have 15 open positions right now across a number of departments.” But those 15 open positions are not development positions, which causes one to wonder what broader changes are underway at MRY.
It's interesting, though entirely unsurprising, that those who love to work together, well, continue to do so. A couple of years ago, three Crispin Porter + Bogusky staffers -- Dave Schiff, Scott Prindle and John Kieselhorst -- left to form a new shop named Made Movement. Now CP+B VP Account Director Kate Higgins has also left the shop to join Made Movement. Of the move, Higgins said, “I love CP+B, but I’m excited about the chance to be a partner and to help grow and shape this place. We always joke that at some point you either own your own shop or become a client, and I like the creative process too much to turn the opportunity down." We wish Higgins well. And she's right. If you don't start your own agency, climb to the top of one or, yeah, become a client, you're likely out on your ass the day you turn 40. It's sad but it's true.
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!