There used to be a time where thinking small was considered thinking big. A time when the crazy ones were looked up to for being pioneers and the essence of innovation that challenged us to think different, inspired us to be great. The forefathers of our industry — Doyle Dane Bernbach, Jay Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather — changed the course of the agency model by combining the world of Art & Copy. Today, more than ever, we need to be as bold and fearless.

What if we continued carrying the torch of the crazy ones? What if we thought smaller by challenging the status quo of today and reinvigorated the voices of agency supporters, stakeholders and creators to “think different” once more?

What if the traditional creative team was no longer structured as a team of two but consisted of a structure of four: Art & Copy, Online Technology and a Social Anthropologist.

What if the agency wasn’t broken into a bunch of different departments that encourage silos, but instead, organized into three dynamic features within the agency that would inform, engage and create synergies across all departments?

1. Creative Solutions = Creative dept., digital dept. and planning dept. combined.

  1. Strategic Alignment = Strategy dept., account services dept. and media dept. combined. This model creates team- work and forces a communication outfit to C-o-m-m-U-N-I-C-A-T-E.
  2. business Intelligence = one executive team member from each discipline, combined. Adding business Intelligence to the mix allows the agency to create a partnership with the client where both partners share in the
profits. It also allows for the agency to adopt a new revenue stream consisting of their own IP. In the case of a select few agencies with this business model like Anomaly, Amusement Park, Digitas, and Disrupt Media

Partners I’m merely preaching to the choir.

What if Media planners and buyers stop buying media before the creative is developed? What if the process was reversed and the creative team could actually develop freely, then the executions could actually go where they were meant to be? What if we used and looked at media as an art form that was a new medium?

What if creative briefs were actually brief? Strategist and planners often try to tell too many stories to illustrate a simple point and often ask archaic questions that don’t allow creatives to change the conversation. I agree with the need for basic points of knowledge: income, age, race etc. but that doesn’t ask or tell creatives about the targets’ passion points or cultural cues that the brand can engage in, creating an organic conversation that makes the consumers “just do it”.

What if the Account teams took some creative classes to understand their creative counterparts a little better? And, what if creative teams took the 4A’s and became a little more business centric? This would help bridge the language barrier and result in the selling of more work.

What if we considered forward momentum to get brands to the next goal and truly advance the ball? Often market
ers and “specialist” use a 360-degree marketing approach (which brings you right back to the same point!) when what we really want to express to the client is that we want to turn their brand around and the only way to do that is to do a 180-degree arc. When the 180-degree arc is complete, you repeat the effort by understanding the learning’s from the first 180-degree arc and then you create another 180-degree arc to continue moving the brand forward like a slinky.

What if agencies completely embraced digital as an organic arm of the agencies body? Then maybe they wouldn’t feel like a foreign object inside of the agency.

In this world of possibilities we have the power to do, create and script our greatness as individual contributors and as voices that want the best for our industry. The current agency model needs to be pulled apart and put back together again, challenged, experimented with and pushed.

Let’s be and do what we tell our teams: BE BRAVE. BE GREAT. BE FEARLESS. BE SMART.


By: Marcus Moore / Creative Director