If you work in marketing or buy creative services of any kind you’ve probably met some wag who has told you about the bad old days, when all agencies were like Mad Men where the drink and more flowed day and night and egos ruled the castle.
Having worked for McCann-Erickson in my youth – one of the best known of the Madison Avenue agencies that covered the globe – my stories of past misdeeds and behaviour from colleagues and competitors are more like Game Of Thrones than Mad Men. Creative agencies were once fiefdoms of influence and closely guarded secrets where account warriors fought tooth and nail for patronage and territory; often to the creative detriment of the clients they served.
But those dragon-infested days are on the wane I’m glad to say, and apart from a few isolated and dying outposts, those types of agency encampments are either dead or dying.
[blockquote]Now collaboration between client and creative agency is the watchword.[/blockquote]
Infighting and the incestuous drive for power that so often was the driving force behind agency monoliths are now outmoded ways of working. Put simply, the atmosphere that sometimes became poisoned in advertising agencies in particular was rarely a good breeding ground for creative thinking and fresh design ideas. Technology has disrupted the creative industries and that has largely been for the general good of clients and creative designers too.
There were agencies that banned creatives from ever meeting clients and other agencies that earned their revenues from hefty production and media mark-ups and practically gave the design away for free. Some dinosaurs still operate in this business model but thankfully this Game Of Thrones era has largely disappeared.
Technology means that design and creativity and the inventive ideas they engender are now more valued and lauded than ever before. Creativity is king and the big agency account execs that used to infest any creative project are now largely extinct.
As a client you want to deal directly with creative people who know you, your business and your brand. More valuable than someone with a gold Amex card who buys you lunch, is a creative professional who has insights and a solid grasp of your business and can play a big role in helping you grow your brand and your products – who has empathy and understanding of your story, your history and your future.
Design and technology are more powerful weapons than scripted processes and tired ideas. Creative teams and projects can be as small or as big as they need to be to get the work done and the objectives achieved without the intervention of too many egos. Now collaboration between client and creative agency is the watchword.
Clients should spend their money and resource on design and creativity rather than on layers of client service. That’s why I made Brandlogik a flexible, virtual team that puts the client and the client’s customers at the centre of our business.
We believe in the power of branding, design and technology to transform your life and your business and anything that gets in the way of delivering the best results is best eliminated, like those Game Of Thrones style feudal barons. Let’s talk.