Boulder, Colo.-based crowdsourcing agency Victors & Spoils has added a creative layer to its lean agency structure in the form of 13 creative directors handpicked from its base of over 6,000 collaborators. The CDs, who will work on a freelance, project basis, were added as a response to an increased volume of work for agency, according to chief creative officer Evan Fry.
As the agency approaches 20 months in business, it has retained Harley-Davidson as a client since the motorcycle brand parted ways with Carmichael Lynch in August last year and has many upcoming projects in the vault.
"It was getting busier and we were anticipating that that trend would continue," said Fry. "But at the same time, we remained true to the approach we've always had." That approach is an agency model with a small core team aided by thousands of amateur and professional creatives across the world on ad-hoc basis.
Fry and creative director Noah Clark, also of the eight-strong "core" team, picked the new creative directors on the basis of their rank in the V&S database--a number which is impacted by the number of projects they've worked on, interest levels, attitude and quality of ideas, among others. They then flew the chosen to Boulder for a weekend-long retreat called the Creative Director Intensive, training them to work with the agency's technology and style.
The creative directors, who take on a similar role as associate creative directors at other shops, are set free to live where they choose and work on what they want. They'll be used on a case-by-case basis as projects come by that Fry and Clark think they'll be a good fit for. The CDs will be in charge of managing the project, curating ideas and then will pass those on to Clark and Fry, who will give final approval. "This way, we get a comfort check," said Fry.
The CDs are all industry veterans, people who were on the verge of moving into a CD role or those who have worked in those positions or as associates before. They include Lynn Branecky, a TBWA and Hill Holliday alum and Michael Collado, a copywriter who has freelanced for Deutsch and Strawberry Frog. There's also David Littlejohn, who led Crispin Porter + Bogusky's team on Domino's from 2007 to 2009 after working with DraftFCB in Chicago for two years. "Good ideas can come from anywhere there's a decent Wi-Fi signal. Plus I enjoy working from home on my front porch, and they're cool with that," said Littlejohn.
Part of the reason people were willing to join on as freelance CDs is because at that rung of the ladder, freelancing is often not an option, said Fry. "They're attracted on that level too, to be able to maintain their skills and reputation but also freelance."
But as work continues to flow in, Fry said that he might want to continue adding to that creative layer. "We'll follow through and do the whole interview process again once we see how well this has worked."