The Anomaly Agency's Robotic Anomaly

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NOELLE WEAVER: Last week I took a tour of agency websites for a little competitive intelligence and stumbled upon New York agency Anomaly’s site where, on their landing page, I was encouraged to buy a little white and blue robot for $5.00 using text messaging and Paypal.

Make no mistake, I love the idea that someone has stepped out and found a way to enable this new technology. And who doesn’t love robots? But the fact that selling a piece of plastic came before all other work and thinking startled me a bit. I understand that this technology was developed by Anomaly -- but is this now what Anomaly is about?

What else are agencies selling? Hats. Shoes. T-shirts. Sometimes at $50 bucks a pop [are they really in that much need for fresh capital?].

This discovery led me to think about the number of times over the years that my job as a new business person became about selling a particular individual’s book that had little to nothing to do with the agency’s thinking or ideas. We’d buy 500 copies [to boost the sales rating on Amazon] and then send them out to Fortune 500 executives in hopes we’d get a new business bite. More often than not, the phones remained silent.

Sure, every agency tries to find new and unique ways to create buzz about itself and sell its talent. And as small fish in a pond with big fish, this task is sometimes harder. But when you take the focus off of delivering smart, strategic and creative communications for your clients, and instead turn to the success of a product, new technology or business model, I can’t help but wonder, in the end, what are you really selling to your clients?
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