Happy 2016 (well let’s hope so!). These are my notes on what the ad agency of 2016 should look like. Inspired by Nils Leonard’s great piece in Campaign and Jamal Edwards of SBTV’s piece in that same publication as well as this one by Clive Martin at Vice, this is very much a work in progress and may be subject to amends throughout the year.
The ad agency of 2016 knows that it traffics art and culture between true innovators and brands.
The ad agency of 2016 knows that it constantly needs to justify its existence to a weary public and to its clients.
The ad agency of 2016 knows the difference between a highly relevant piece of art and a short-term gimmick
The ad agency of 2016 works directly with great artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, technologists and designers.
The ad agency of 2016 knows that it is nothing without a thriving, constantly developing and innovative cultural landscape so it gives back accordingly.
The ad agency of 2016 respects solid academic credentials in its talent but looks beyond high ranking universities and unpaid internships when recruiting.
The ad agency of 2016 never practices nepotism.
The ad agency of 2016 is proud of its outreach initiatives to schools in deprived areas, to those who may have been written off academically and to those who haven’t quite found someone to mentor them and foster their talent.
The ad agency of 2016 has creatives with the irreverence of Kanye West, the cultural bravery of Bjork and the refined craftsmanship of Jamie XX.
The ad agency of 2016 has planners as thoughtful as David Foster Wallace, as immersive as James Joyce and as questioning as George Orwell.
The ad agency of 2016’s suits are entrepreneurs who try to emulate the visionary nature of Steve Jobs, the creative businessperson credentials of Vivienne Westwood and strong leadership and steady resilience of Larry Page.
The ad agency of 2016 has no use for buzzwords or jargon.
The ad agency of 2016 has a senior management team who foster a culture of trust, the look of the office is controlled by the staff and is ever evolving and the music plays loud.
The ad agency of 2016 knows that it has to fight to keep its talent and uses purpose, development and responsibility as its bargaining chips.
The ad agency of 2016 is a brand in itself.
The ad agency of 2016 starts with one brave client and a small team of highly intelligent, confident, creative and diverse people.