Small agencies have that heritage and we must not neglect our calling. We must give our best to do the same for the future growth of our industry. I truly believe that the future will allow the advertising industry to be a new source of creative inspiration. The expansion of communication channels allows a more intimate relationship with the individual. As odd as this may sound, if we embrace the opportunity we will be agents of change and actually make contributions to society. We will make people look at the world in fresh ways. Art communicates. We must be artists, not mimics.
Why are we the chosen? Let me count the ways.
1. Small agencies are the “special ops” of advertising. Small, nimble, stealth, we can fight behind enemy lines. (The enemy is fear) Unencumbered by layers of bureaucracy, we are able to do things that many of the large agencies wish they could do. We don't have their excuse. If we don't do it we're just lazy or greedy.
2. The ownership of a small agency can change its culture quickly. It's easy to spot problems when the room's not crowded. Naysayers and the lot stick out. And it's easier to change the direction of a rowboat than an ocean liner. Who you are if you don't like the direction you're going.
4. Small clients can be more appreciative of an effort that breaks the rules. They are looking for every edge they can get over the mega-competitors they have. They see good work for its worth.
5. Politics are minimal in a smaller effort so energy can be concentrated on doing what's best for the work versus what's politically smart.
6. Small projects from big name clients are adrenaline boosts. They get special attention and are usually under-the-radar jobs that don't have layers of client approval. You can have both, great work and big brands in your agency portfolio. You can risk showing really risky thinking. You can't lose a monthly retainer you don't have.
7. There is the David and Goliath (not the agency) thing that should be motivating us. We don't get the press, the accolades, and the network exposure. It's really great when we win the big award shows and stand on the same podium with the big guys. I think it's more rewarding for us than them because we have to do more with less and we did the best regardless.
8. The number of example of small agencies (who are now giants) that rocked when they were small. Greatness when you're small pays huge dividends if you stick to it. And if you start to get big and you don't want to, sell and start over. I like building mansions, not living in them.
9. Small agencies have less to lose. (It's everything we own, but it's less stuff.) Besides, if you lose and have to start over, you're still small so what did you lose? And what fun is there in playing it safe? Anyone can do that.
10. It's easy to be pure before you're famous. Too many of us get into shows and start believing we're special. We stop working for the work and start working to stay in the limelight. We do work that seems to always be in the shows. (Beautiful picture, pithy line, well-known logo) That's safe, I'd rather do hack. Well, maybe not, but anonymity is a blessing just as much as fame. We shouldn't let either take our eye off of doing work that we feel is better than anything we've done before. Growing in ability is more important than growing famous.
So, this blog will be a sanctuary is for the small agency to find rest and peace. It is a place to come and refresh your faith in the power of being small. This will be base camp for everyone who believes that small is good. That small is original. That small will renew this industry. Pull up a chair. Let's talk about the power of small.