A New Year’s resolution can be more stressful than empowering, especially when the resolution involves your business. In both personal and professional life, many of us start out our years with a vast, seemingly unreachable resolution. A new year brings high hopes, and we often lose sight of the attainable. While having large goals to strive towards is a great motivator, focusing solely on massive resolutions can be discouraging rather than motivating. Major, longterm goals are achieved by achieving a series of small resolutions. Your 2018 business resolution should act as a stepping stone towards your larger business resolution. It should play a role in your larger goals, but should also be attainable. Plus if you achieve your resolution ahead of time, you can always make another! To help you out, we have compiled some of the most popular and helpful business resolutions that you could adopt in 2018.
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Creative agencies are rethinking the hiring process, from adding in-house venture capitalists to using Big Data in order to find diverse voices. At the 3% Conference in New York City, Jay Russell, CCO, GSD&M, Jaime Robinson, co-founder, Joan Creative, Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, partner, KBS Ventures, and Vann Graves, CEO/CCO, FL&G joined moderator Susie Nam, COO, Droga5 to discuss how the industry is tackling its stated desire to increase its talent base beyond the current status quo of white men.
How does a company get its name? Is it through rigorous, consumer-based testing? Or conceived over a beer? Or by hiring an expert? If you are a start-up, you often don’t have the big budgets or time to conduct months of expensive research to identify the absolute best name. To better understand one of the earliest, and most important decisions entrepreneurs will make, the choice of the firm’s name, I sought insight from several agencies. Below are some of the inventive ways that companies arrived at their names.
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME
“What’s in a name?” When Juliet, in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, originally spoke these words, Shakespeare was making the argument that language is random. Names are just labels used to distinguish one thing from another. To Juliette, the name “Montague” itself did not create worth or meaning.
Up until recently, FL&G did not have a name. We were an entity; a fully functioning company, however we had no set identity. If names are just labels, we shouldn’t need one to create meaning and worth, right?
Doing business with no name, however, was a challenge. Without a name, we had to navigate how best to introduce ourselves to prospective clients. We had no business cards, we used temporary email addresses, we couldn’t yet define our brand or our visual identity. We had less to fall back on and more to explain.
The sense of identity that a name provides is at the heart of why names are important to us as individuals and business entities. Names are descriptors that allow people to make quick judgments and assumptions about us. While we can understand the harm of assumptions (and the reasoning behind Juliet’s assertion), names provide the human mind a fast way to categorize a lot of information in a short amount of time.
Interestingly, names have also been shown to be a crucial factor in an individual’s internalization and development of their sense of self. Names help propel us forward on various paths of life and career. For example, a name can “exert unconscious influence over a person's own choices. Some scientific researchers contend that there are disproportionately large numbers of dentists named Dennis and lawyers named Lauren, and that it's not purely an accident that Dr. Douglas Hart of Scarsdale, N.Y., chose cardiology or that the Greathouse family of West Virginia runs a real-estate firm.”
If choosing a name would inevitably have external and internal influences, choosing the right one for our new agency was one of the most important decisions we had to make to date. This decision was one that would shape how we were going to be perceived by society and how we would perceive ourselves.
As an agency, however, there were other things we had to consider during the naming process, too. For example:
How would our name influence our brand? We had to consider Brand Law #5, “The Law of the Word”, which dictates that a brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer.
As a creative agency we had to be unique, and being unique in a world full of creative agencies who had already called dibs on certain words proved to be a challenge. Finding a name that wasn’t already taken while concurrently connotating the right message and voice meant we had to dig far and wide for ideas.
We had to simultaneously find a domain name that 1. paired well with our choice, 2. was available, and 3. wasn’t exponentially outside our budget.
We all had to agree. With five founding partners all located on different parts of the “purely rational” to “out-there creative” spectrum, we were all driven by different reasonings.
As we struggled to narrow down our ideas, we decided to let internal and external forces intersect. If society was going to judge us based on the name we chose, then why not include them in the process?
Working with Campaign US, we started by choosing five options that we believed we could internalize as we developed our agency’s identity. Then, we left it to society to chose one of those.
As a result, we got the best of both worlds.
Check out the Campaign US articles to see how the process unfolded!
Advertising creative directors speculate on how it might look when the NBA starts putting sponsor ads on jerseys in 2017.
Back in April, the NBA announced it would begin putting sponsorship logos on player uniforms in the 2017-18 season, a move that could generate at least $100 million per year. Commonplace in all sports around the world, monetizing uniforms is a move major American sports leagues like the NFL, NHL, and Major league Baseball have yet to make.
The revenue numbers might have team owners salivating, but the prospect of adding logos has some fans worried their hoops heroes will look more like German hockey players. More realistically, the NBA is imagining a future in which fans will accept (and buy) jerseys with brand logos, just as world soccer fans still scramble for the newest kits of Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Barcelona.
European soccer clubs have practically made selling uniform space into a capitalist art form—they sell the front of the shirt rights, they sell the back of the shirt rights, they sell shirt rights for different tournaments, they sell the warm-up shirt rights. Everything is for sale. They must look at the real estate on NBA shirts and wonder, 'Why are the numbers so big on the front?'
In anticipation of the NBA's first foray into brands on player uniforms, I asked some of the people brands will be talking to about their potential jersey sponsorship strategy, and asked them to speculate on how marketers may be approaching this new sports sponsorship opportunity. Creative directors, art directors, and executives from six different ad agencies weighed in on everything from placement to specific brand/team partnerships that would make sense.
Some are realistic, some are ambitious, and some are just batsh*t brand crazy. Check them out in the slide show above.
CUTWATER ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR GONG LIU, AND COPYWRITER JAY BROCKMEIER
Golden State Warriors and Twitter: "The best partnerships are going to come from an idea that helps all parties involved and feels smart. So for Twitter, we’ll put players’ Twitter handles on their jerseys instead of their last name—something that will make Twitter, the Warriors, and the players happy."
Chicago Bulls and McDonald's: "Americans don’t agree on much, but there’s one thing we can all agree on: McDonald’s fries are delicious. To remind people how much they miss them we will create a jersey with a pocket made of their iconic fry container and more ventilation for a completely new look."
Atlanta Hawks and Brawny: "For the Hawks, we’ll work with Atlanta’s own Georgia-Pacific—owners of Brawny—to create a jersey featuring the iconic red and black plaid pattern of the Brawny Man."
Atlanta Hawks and United Airlines: "We’ll work with United Airlines and the Atlanta Hawks—both know a little about flight—to re-imagine their uniforms. We’ll use the simple and familiar flight pattern motif as a design element in the fabric and the Hawks logo and uniform number will serve as the 'hub.'"
FL+G CEO/ CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER VANN GRAVES
"Creating logos for NBA jerseys comes with a lot of pressure. You have to strike the right balance between staying on brand while not annoying the millions of basketball fans that will be ready to pick your work apart the second it walks onto the court. The solution is to use icons that are quickly recognizable yet add a fun component to the game."
FL+G PARTNER/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR JOE SCALO
"For brands like McDonald's and Starbucks, we wanted to branch out from using their typical logo and put the focus back onto their most iconic items. Who can resist the nostalgic image of the yellow fries or the classic coffee cup? They bring an unmistakable symbol to the jersey, a tactic that will keep the NBA happy while offering something that fans can get excited about."
GYK ANTLER BRAND AND MARKETING EXECUTIVE LUKE BONNER
"There’s a reason we’re attracted to—and turned off by—brands. Branding creates value and loyalty when we feel it shares and reflects our core beliefs. Otherwise, it’s just crass corporatism. So, as the NBA dips its collective toes in the world of co-branding, remember, fans don’t like crass corporatism. Luckily, we’re in the business of keeping everyone happy, so here’s our $0.02 on well-aligned co-branding."
Boston Celtics and Dunkin’ Donuts: "Pride. To Bostonians, it’s what separates them. It’s what unites them. It’s also what makes them care more about triple doubles than triple ventis. Whether it’s their sports teams or their breakfast, Boston fans are rabidly loyal to brands steeped in tradition. Born and bred in Massachusetts, the Celtics and Dunks go together like coffee and donuts."
Atlanta Hawks and Delta Airlines: "Above the sky or above the rim, these two Atlanta-based franchises know a little something about pushing the envelope. The Hawks have seen serious lift-off connecting with millennials through engaging game-day experiences, while Delta continues to carry more passengers annually than any other airline in the world. Plus, the Delta widget fits perfectly into the Hawks’ design. Together, there’s no telling how high they’ll fly."
INNOCEAN USA CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER ERIC SPRINGER, AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR SHANE DIVER
McDonald’s and LA Clippers: "As McDonald’s shifts away from its traditional fast food menu, the brand can only benefit from reaching a broader, healthier audience. So it only made sense to create something that represents McDonald’s future and marry it with the NBA style and aesthetic. We mirrored the famous NBA logo and created a more athletic version of Ronald McDonald to make it clear that you can "Be Like Mike" (or Steph) if you eat McDonald’s."
MONO SAN FRANCISCO MANAGING CREATIVE DIRECTOR PAULA BIONDICH, AND DESIGNER BEN JOHNSON
Logo Fantasy Leagues: "Let's have different brand items or icons represented on different players' jerseys, and turn it into a 'fantasy' game, in which people can draft their 'team' based on these different logos. For instance, let's say I draft the McDonald's Hamburger, and my friend drafts McDonald's fries—if the player with the McDonald's hamburger logo scores the most points, I win a coupon for a hamburger on my next visit."
United Way: "A jersey is a personal object, to both the players and the fans who wear it. Why not give that space to some of the fans who'd appreciate it most? Each player represents a local individual child 'sponsored' by the United Way. When that particular player is the leading scorer, a matching donation is made to that particular child's name. For example, if Kari-Anthony Towns led the team with 27 points, $270 would be given from the Wolves to The United Way in the name of that particular local child."
American Express: Let's spread the local love and have teams sponsor businesses, not the other way around. In partnership with American Express, each NBA player 'promotes' a small business in their market by donning its logo on Small Business Saturday. It's a small gesture that will go a long way on such an important shopping day."
By JEFF BEER Published - Fast Company - May 5, 2016
Four Reasons Why a Production Structure Will Help Agencies Succeed
The idea that the agency model is "broken" is something that's been kicked around the advertising world for a while now, with few concrete ideas to suggest what might replace it -- until recently. During a spirited speech at the Association of National Advertisers' Masters of Marketing conference this October, PepsiCo president Brad Jakeman called out ad holding companies' lack of interest in acquiring content studios and the apparent reluctance of advertising veterans to move away from traditional platforms like TV.
While I'm not on board with the argument that the advertising world hasn't caught up to our digital reality, I can't disagree that the agency model is overdue for a full overhaul. It goes without saying that the days of producing a TV spot with some print and digital work to back it up are over, yet this is the workflow many agencies are still structured for. Brands are now expected to produce thousands of pieces of content in an endless cycle, on a fraction of the budget they might have had for a campaign 20 years ago. This is a state of affairs that most agencies completely understand, but are not set up to accomplish in the most effective, efficient way.
It's time for a better, smarter way of doing business. Today's client needs call for a model that grafts the creative assets of the traditional agency onto the structure and technical capabilities of a production company. Where planning was once integral to the usefulness of an agency, these days things move so quickly that the ability to be flexible and react instantly is often a more valuable and useful skill. This is what the production structure and mindset allows for. Here's what else it brings to agencies:
1. A production model allows agencies to bring content to market quickly. There's no waiting for back-and-forth with third-party production companies. There's no drawn-out approval process, no time spent briefing someone else's creatives, no worry that your team won't mesh with someone else's. You control the creative process and the production schedule, from start to finish.
2. It enhances the creative process by allowing for experimentation. Just as startups innovate through rapid prototyping and endless testing, agencies with production capabilities built in can keep pushing their ideas forward, and discard what doesn't work, without paying a third party for the project.
3. The agency production model allows you to produce a huge variety and volume of content across platforms. Delivering beyond the brief and showing your client that you're capable of iterating and pushing your creative in many different directions is hugely valuable.
4. It allows agencies to react to what's happening in the news and in culture in real time. It's not enough to just create content for your clients -- it needs to be relevant. This is crucial for brands trying to gain earned media and have a voice in the larger cultural conversation.
The agencies that are well placed in this era are those that were born from production companies in the first place, and later evolved into creative agencies. They have built their creative process off a production foundation and now are finding that they are well-suited to the current climate. But that's not to say that traditional agencies can't catch up. In fact, some larger agencies are wisely beefing up their production capabilities by building studios and hiring in-house production teams. In the coming years, those that don't or can't do the same will likely find themselves left behind.
By Vann Graves. Published - AdAge - November 04, 2015.
Vann Graves departs Fancy Rhino, launches FL+G
Less than a year after joining the company, president and CCO Vann Graves has parted ways with Fancy Rhino, and has announced his intention to launch his own agency.
Based in Chattanooga, TN, the eight-person agency will be named FL+G, as determined by a poll of Campaign US readers last week. The name — suggested by Susan Credle, Global Chief Creative Officer of FCB and a friend of Graves — refers to the initials of the agency’s founding leadership team. (Integrated producer Ivannah Flores, strategist Kate Lamb, account director Sally Lynch and director/editor Josh Gross).
A veteran of BBDO and McCann Erickson, Graves left New York in 2014 to help Fancy Rhino, which is based in Chattanooga, evolve from a production house into a self-described "content creation company." The partnership won early attention with clever ads for Torch, a child-friendly router, that played on the innocent associations children have with terms like "blue balls" and "happy ending."
But the partnership was "not a perfect fit," Graves wrote in a column for Campaign US last week, and eventually dissolved.
Fancy Rhino currently has no plans to fill the role Graves originated, the agency said. Instead, Isaiah Smallman, cofounder and CEO, is "stepping back in as president," he said, and Drew Bellz, cofounder and CCO, will assume Graves’ creative duties.
"We’re happy to have Vann doing his own thing but excited about what we’re doing, and hopefully down the road we’ll have the chance to collaborate," Smallman said. The agency has also counted Kia, Samsung and Office Depot among its clients.
Torch now becomes the first client at FL&G. The company is no longer working with Fancy Rhino.
Graves describes FL+G as "a creative agency that operates on a strategic production model. We stand by the belief that quality content is the way of the future for successful brands, so we’ve integrated a production mindset seamlessly into our brand building process," he said.
Allowing the public to pick his agency’s name was "a vulnerable experience," Graves said — and precisely the sort of thing he would advise a client to do, which is why he did it.
"This is exactly the kind of creative and experimental approach that I've always envisioned for my own agency, and I couldn't be more thrilled with the results," he said. "This type of process is what I would ask my clients to entrust me with, so, by kicking off FL+G in this way, we are representing how we will work with our future partners."
By Douglas Quenqua Published - Campaign - February 29, 2016