Havas Joins The 'Bribe A Millennial' Approach To Talent Retention

Two makes a trend, right? Yes. Yes, it does. And the latest trend is sending agency employees on work exchange programs to inspire loyalty, bolster creativity or to just plain old coddle fickle employees who would sooner jump to another agency before enduring the slightest bit of discomfort or lack of advancement at their current agency. Last week, California-based agency thinkParallax launched Parallaxporation, which offered each agency employee $1,500 to travel to a place they had never been before -- and of course, blog about it. This week, Havas has launched Havas Lofts, a program whereby 20 employees will travel to 10 agencies in 3 cities over the course of 4 weeks -- and yes, blog about it. Oh, and tweet to #HavasLofts about it too! Hey, the agencies have to get something back for their coddling. Under the guise of a "global mobility training program," Havas Lofts will have participants travel to New York, London or Paris at a host Havas agency, paired with a coach and "immersed in the inner workings of the agency." Hmm. There once was a day when the only mantra to employee motivation in the ad industry involved a heartfelt "do your f*cking job" and maybe, just maybe, free beer on Friday. My, how we have progressed.

Okay - the first thing I have to say about thisvideo created by London-based agency Abundance -- which would rather be known as an innovation partner, disruptor and incubator -- that pits old school Mad Men against young upstart Mavens is...take off that idiotic looking hat, AKQA ACD Matt Longstaff. You're at a business luncheon, not some mosh pit. The video is the classic old farts versus young whippersnappers faceoff in which neither side comes out winning. The old farts are "out of touch." The youngsters are all about the new and, like, speak like a multitasking Snapchatter that just tweeted his Facebook status update. Of course the lesson here is that times change, and the expertise required to adapt to those changes also changes. What worked in the 60's doesn't work in the 10's, and vice versa. That said, it does seem like the industry has indeed lost its way a bit. But as the video progresses, both "sides" come to agreement on the fact that the art of copywriting or at least its accepted place in the world of advertising has been lost and those practicing the craft of copywriting need to reassert themselves. No matter how old they are.

Also joining in on the ever-changing role of creativity in advertising is relatively new FCB CEO Carter Murray, who has done some great work shoring up FCB over the last year. Speaking to India's Business Standard about paradigm shifts occurring in global digital marketing...and what doesn't need to change, Murray said: "I think it's easy to think of what needs to change; it is harder to think of what needs to remain the same. And these would be -- it is very important to keep a creative culture. Clients come to us for creative solutions to their business problems. A lot of times, clients hire strategic and creative people in-house. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. So whatever happens with technology, digital, with people's lives or media, you need to have a creative team that works in a creative environment to address your business problems. That's why clients come to us."

Hmm. I'm bored. I think I'll make my ad agency jump through hoops in a review just to keep them on their toes. Now that might not be the genesis behind the review called by Johnnie Walker Global Brand Director Guy Escolme, but the brand feels it's time to take a look at their advertising in the context of a competitive pitch. Incumbent BBH, which has had the account since 1999, will "vigorously defend." Of the review, Escolme said: "The brand’s relationship with BBH has been hugely successful, with the agency producing award-winning work of outstanding creativity. As the market leader, Johnnie Walker feels the time is right to invite selected agencies, including BBH, to look at how we take the brand forward into the future." So...everything is awesome. But let's have a review just for the fun of it. Only in advertising, people. Only in advertising



1 comment about "Havas Joins The 'Bribe A Millennial' Approach To Talent Retention".
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  1. Jerry Gibbons from Gibbons Advice, October 27, 2014 at 7:19 p.m.

    Maybe Matt Longstaff was having a bad hair day.

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