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Not long ago, brands both big and small trusted their advertising budgets to the biggest ad agencies. Everybody did it, and for good reason – it was where the creative talent was.

But then the world changed. The dot com boom showed that entrepreneurs could come from anywhere. Ideas from “regular” people saw the light of day, and flourished. If you lived through that era, you know how crazy things got. (I was once in a meeting with a dot com CEO who brought his parents to a strategy session) No longer was a meeting full of MBAs. Instead we were surrounded by quick thinking entrepreneurs who saw everything as a new opportunity. Of course, they weren’t all successful, but a new mindset was here to stay. That was the starting point for a shift in thinking about agencies, when big agencies started to lose their allure as the only place creative people could showcase their ideas.

But the biggest disruption happened when that internet-webby-thing allowed for more non-traditional working arrangements almost overnight.

 Brands are no longer limited to
big agencies for big ideas

It used to be that advertising agencies were the place where artsy types could hide away in a creative department and show off their toy collections. (I should know – I have a lot of toys boxed away somewhere) Those days were a blast. We came to work every day and got paid to come up with crazy ideas – the crazier the better. Clients loved it, especially if there was a planner with a British accent to reassure them that the ideas were strategic. Brands could one-stop-shop for the best ideas from the brightest minds. But that all was about to change. Opportunities for creative minds started opening up in new and different places. Even the term “creative” applied less to an agency department, and more to a mindset. Gone were the days when the process of creating ads was mysterious, almost magical.

None of this would have been possible without that internet webby-thingamabob. It has changed advertising forever. Agencies of any size can now access the best global talent whenever they need it. Access to person with the perfect skill-set for any project is now available to anyone. The internet has created the longest office hallway in the world, where agencies do not need creatives (and their toys) under their own physical roofs.

So what does this all mean for the future of advertising? It means that brands are no longer limited to big agencies for big ideas. It means that big and small agencies can compete on the same field, and that the big agencies don’t always win. In this world, the savviest clients realize that the brick and mortar agency, with its expensive offices and shelves of creative toys, is, well, a little old-fashioned.

Being part of this new agency model has opened many doors for us, giving us the flexibility to access talent from the world’s longest hallway, and clients are once again getting access to the best creatives available, all from one agency.

Dave Devencenzi

Author Dave Devencenzi

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