Advertising Agency, What Does That Even Mean?

Written by Advertising student - Amanda Florence

Macleay recently hosted Andy Wright, co-founder of For The People at an AdSpeaks presentation for Advertising students.  Andy delivered a presentation on ‘Starting From Scratch - what the agency model would look like if you could start again.’

A recently birthed branding and strategy agency that specialise in start up businesses, For The People don’t run with the typical ad agency traditions of hierarchy, structure and IMG_2777processes. They don’t bother looking side to side at their competitors; instead they keep the focus on the consumer experience. He pointed out, ‘the art of communication’ has been lost along the way and many agencies spend their energy on asking ‘what are the competitors doing?’

Although advertising is often perceived as being romantically creative it also gives the opportunity to create work that is ‘blockbusting, humorous, famous, award winning and contextually magical’ (to produce a campaign that incorporates its surrounding environment and makes the viewer smile, nose laugh or exclaim, is best.)

So in days of past and present, medium to large agencies followed/ follow old-school hierarchy and workflow processes to get the job done. Does the entire traditional infrastructure really aid in creativity and progress?

It can aid in understanding how to do things but can also make you feel like a robot, autonomous. How do you avoid feeling this way? Try to always keep the end goal (a tangible result in the hands of the consumer) in mind and avoid ticking the boxes for the sake of ticking boxes.

Increasingly the agency structure is beginning to flat line and we can only expect it to keep going. This is a reflection of new age start-ups and their business models…where there are no traditional business models. Think of them more as tribes or families.  If they dream it they build it, without the instructions.  Because passionate crazy people usually helm these start-ups, they are solely focussed on whom they are delivering their product or service to and making it the best experience ever with no regard for rules or boundaries. The path isn’t traditional, these entrepreneurs dive down the rabbit hole and their business grows exponentially.

In turn they require ad agencies that can match their need for speed, agility, parallel partnership and flexibility. They want content released constantly more so in the digital world instead of unveiling one expensive full campaign every few months.

For The People address this change in start up business models and look forward to disrupting… the future, looks exciting for those agencies willing to take the leap forward.


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