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The Value of an Idea (or maybe “What Makes a Great Agency?”)

April 28, 2006

Every week my team and I set together to talk about our accounts. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We also take some time to “sharpen the saw,” reading and discussing business books like “Good to Great,” “The One Thing You Need to Know,” or any number of marketing-branding-advertising related books.

Right now were working through “Eating the Big Fish” by Adam Morgan. This morning’s discussion centered on using “advertising and the consistent strategic pursuit of the right publicity” as a strategic asset.

It’s chapter 10 in the book and it talks about the impact a “relevant and distinctive” idea can have – complete with case studies. If you haven’t read this, it might change your attitude about whether advertising is really dead as some love to claim.

Beyond mere advertising, this chapter, to me, helps to define what separates a great agency from the mediocre. A great agency, while having excellent production skills, will be able to consistently develop “relevant and distinctive” ideas. The viral program I wrote about yesterday worked because it was relevant and distinctive to its audience.

The talent to execute ideas is widespread.

The talent to birth those ideas – not as much.

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One comment

  1. That’s why we are seeing ads that are just briefs dressed up in shiny clothes.

    Sometimes agency teams are so busy pre-emting ‘what the client wants’ that they don’t work harrd enough on what would work with the target audience.

    Nice post, mate.



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