Following former Havas CEO David Jones’ prediction that the traditional agency model will soon be dead, Jason Gormley, ECD of 18 Feet & Rising looks at what ad agencies can do to safeguard themselves.
“Ad agencies are dead. I called it last century. Still not been proved right. So I reckon David’s prediction is a little premature. The quality of the talent dictates the quality of ideas. And that doesn’t change. Whether those ideas come from crowdsourcing, or from the traditional creative department. Get the best people and you get the best work. I believe we get back what we put in. We work as corporate translators – we take the message a corporation wants to communicate, and translate it into a language people can understand and get involved with. Audiences can tell when someone has put their blood and sweat into the creative work. Our pound of flesh, our soul, our spirit, our heart, that’s what human beings connect with. Creativity is commitment. Wherever your work comes from.
“So how do we find (and keep) those willing to commit their all to advertising, in a world where a smart, creatively-minded kid can enjoy the reach of a multinational via Youtube, and stick her own ‘brand’ on the end of the work? Finding the best people occupies way more of my brain space than any perceived threat from new agency models. Will we do things the same way next year at 18 Feet & Rising? Maybe, or maybe we’ll move on. New things will come, and keep on coming. We can view them as threats, or as opportunities to get better. And while I don’t know what the future holds, I do know I want the best people around me when it gets here.”