1. Stretch for talent. The first time 72andSunny really impressed me was the day John [Boiler] and Glenn [Cole] tried to steal Matt Jarvis [from Deutsch]. Matt was our star account planner. … We managed to keep him -- that time. The second time 72andSunny really impressed me was a year later when they offered him a position as their partner running the agency. I admired their taste and tenacity, but mostly, that they were willing to stretch to get the best talent.
2. The truth is un-ignorable. Not all companies have the courage (or self-awareness) to choose the truth as their communications strategy. The world didn't see K-Swiss as a "real" athletic-shoe company. So instead of hiring a real athlete to endorse it, they chose the world's most-lovable wannabe athlete [Kenny Powers]. … [72andSunny's] work for Samsung does not attempt to create their version of Apple's cultlike following. Instead they let great products and the absence of a cultlike following reveal Samsung as the smart alternative in smartphones. Their work presents clients in their best possible light, not by airbrushing out the blemishes, but instead by making us love them as they are.
3. End the tug of war. Most agencies seem like they're at war with themselves, like the right brain has too little respect for the left and the left brain has too little faith in the right. …But 72andSunny rejects the tug of war altogether.
4. Unhate. Being cynical, jaded and a "hater" have become the default settings inside most agencies. But being a hater is bad for the work. It may lead to detached irony, which can pass for creativity, but it will not make people fall in love.
-- Erick Hirshberg is CEO of Activision