The all-important agency mission statement. Lovely, but we are who others think we are.

June 3, 2009

Agency creds or you know what…

One thing that has always driven me crazy about advertising is the grandiosity we agencies have when it comes to talking about ourselves. As soon as I became part of my agency’s creative leadership (here and elsewhere) I became part of the “Who are we?” discussion. This is the meeting where VIPs from all over the network argue passionately about the agency’s mission statement. The discussions can get pretty heated.

For the rest of this scintillating piece, please make the jump: Talent Zoo column


One Response to “The all-important agency mission statement. Lovely, but we are who others think we are.”

  1. Rich Tseng said

    Just got back from reading your column and I like it. It probably goes further back but I often think that no matter what, Leo Burnett will be forever known for the Green Giant and other mascots and, by extension, the clients those mascots spoke for.

    From what I see on the outside looking in, I’d say you have originators who really change the paradigm (CP+B, Droga5, etc.) and then you have agencies who are like chameleons, they absorb the new techniques and employ them for their clients (the more languages you know, the greater potential you have of communicating accurately).

    What confuses me though, is why agencies shouldn’t differentiate themselves through self-advertising (whether in clients’ trade magazines, online, conventions, etc.). I think of Ogilvy’s lovely print ads explaining how to put out a print ad (and by offering readers something informative the ad demonstrated one of Ogilvy’s core strategies of effective long copy). They were ads that demonstrated the niche that Ogilvy had tried to corner: direct response mastery and a more scientific approach to creative.

    Does the fear agencies have for being known as experts in ‘one thing’ stemming from the idea that clients will pass them up when they have problems they think will be solved by another?

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