Every time we receive something from an agency that falls into the category of self promotion or that promises to offer an "inside look" at how the agency works, we cringe as memories of the tragic Agency.com Subway pitch video engulf our mind.
Thankfully that wasn't the case when we received and reviewed the Facebook Timeline-based RFP Santa Rosa agency The Engine is Red submitted to the North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative which is seeking an ad agency.
This guest article is written by redpepper founder Dave McMullen.
Most ad agencies live and die by a single metric. Some measure everything about it and all around it. Others ignore it and just hope they get it. It's the fuel that drives the modern advertising business.
It's the billable hour.
In order to grow profitably, agencies need to hire more people and bill them out at a minimum of 65-75 percent of their day. Unfortunately selling, assigning, and working by the hour and for the hour is not very motivating. And this can cause problems in an agency's culture by killing the inspiration needed to find creative solutions to problems.
So there's Wexley School for Girls, right? Why can't there be another agency that is good at schooling? Enter San Francisco-based School of Thought. While in San Francisco for ad:tech last week, we stopped by the offices of School of Thought.
Founders Tom Geary and Joseph Newfield have had long and impressive advertising careers. Geary created Microsoft's MsDewey campaign. Newfield, who's done work for Visa, Shutterfly, Del Monte, 9Lives and others, spent ten years at Agency.com. We won't hold that against him. He's a nice guy. And he fed us lunch so we're grateful and we enjoyed sharing old war stories.
The agency is out with a two minute promotional video in which they share their "required reading" in six lessons.
- As agencies get their Facebook Timeline in order, we're bound to see interesting iterations such as this one from Brunner Works.
- Gratuitous ass shot of the day. This one ends with a twist.
- Very strange. Clorox now makes bacon flavored cat litter and cleaning products. Hmm.
- Mazda is out with a new commercial for its 2013 CX-5 crossover SUV. Lee Majors would love it!
- Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Rich Silverstein, founder of Hacking Autism, is out with a trailer for his I Want to Say short. The film takes a look at touch screen technology and how it has help kids with autism.
Oy. After watching the trailer for AMC's The Pitch we can't help but foresee it as just an extended version of the famed Agency.com Subway video. We can't comment on the inner workings of most other businesses but we certainly can state that the inner workings of an ad agency are better left inside the walls of said agencies.
Now we're willing to be optimistic and hope this show won't devolve into the pompous foolery depicted so well by Donny Deutsch when he appeared on The Apprentice but we worry for the agencies involved.
The Ad Store, MvKinney, SK+G, WDCW and other off Madison Avenue shops are putting their reputation on the line. We hope the producers don't go for fist bump idiocy. We hope the agency execs can contain their exuberance and give the ad business a good name.
But secretly we hope it's a train wreck. After all, this is reality TV and the train wreck is the center piece of the genre.
For the second year in a row, Ad Age has bestowed its top honor on Boston-based Allen & Gerritsen for Allen & Gerritsen for Best Pace to Work.">Best Pace to Work. Each year, the publication issues two surveys to each interested agency with 50 or more employees. One survey contains 75 questions and is sent to the employer. A second survey with 50 questions is sent to employees. The results are crunched by New York-based Buck Consultants which has been in the human resources business for almost 100 years.
Rounding out the top ten where Mr. Youth, Tris3ct, Big Spaceship, Eric Mower & Associates, Red Door INteractive, 360i, Performics, Undertone and Horizon Media.
Congrats to all the winners
Israeli agency Smoyz claims to have created the world's first Pinterest-based campaign. For its client Kotex, the agency identified 50 women who they felt were "inspiring," studied their pins and identified what inspired the 50 women. The agency then physically created personalized items based on the women's pinned items. To receive the item, the women repinned the agency's creation and the agency sent the item, along with some Kotex product naturally, to the women.
This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you self-promotion.
As the agency world crumbles (a bit too dramatic?), everyone's scrambling to determine how agencies should change to meet the shifting tides of consumer behavior and the radically altered methods agencies use to reach consumers.
In a SXSW panel entitled Why Ads Agencies Should Act More Like Tech Startups, AKQA Chief Creative Officer Rei Inamoto shared some analysis and interviews he has done over the past year that examined whether or not agencies should act more like tech startups. The comparison being, of course, agencies are slow, lumbering ships saddled with bloated, creative-killing process and startups are nimble and free thinking.
We're happy to announce Red Square Agency will be sponsoring our coverage of SXSW which begins next friday. Red Square Agency, located in Mobile Alabama, has done work for Google, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Full Sail University. They also came up with the Parentalyzer and proved cats improve Facebook ad response far better than cleavage.
We're happy to have them on board as a sponsor. Follow along as we bring you the best of SXSW. We'll be covering as many of the marketing, branding and social media sessions as we can along with those always interesting surprise announcements, the parties and who got so drunk they'll be ashamed to go back to work after SXSW. OK, well we're not going to out anyone or ruin anyone's career but we are going to have as much fun as we possibly can.
Join us for the ride.
- The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) announced Thomas Kail and Andrew Fried have been named as Creative Directors of The 16th Annual Webby Awards Show.
- Apparently you can party in the back of an Opel Combo.
- Aegis has acquired leading digital agency Roundarch and it will be integrated with Isobar, Aegis Media's digital creative network.
- Lurzer's Archive has updated it's website to "make it as fancy as our print magazine."
- Israeli agency Shalmor Avnon Amichy developed an interesting way to get people to confidently open up their pocket book for charitable organizations.
- Under Armour, with help from Redd Tettemer + Partners is reprising their Ultimate Intern Team program for this summer and is seeking five interns.