Ferrier: “If Agencies Have The Mentality Of Quick Wins, They’ll Die”

Ferrier: “If Agencies Have The Mentality Of Quick Wins, They’ll Die”
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Questions about relevance have plagued this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

With attendance reportedly down 20 per cent, news of major holding companies issuing warnings to staff and general scepticism around ‘Cannes Scams’, 2018’s festival has drawn its fair share of criticism.

Though, not everyone has jumped on the anti-Cannes bandwagon, with many still championing the importance of the awards to the industry and work coming out of it.

Speaking to B&T, consumer psychologist and Thinkerbell founder Adam Ferrier said he was wholeheartedly supportive of the awards.

“I like Cannes, I think it’s good, and I think it’s good to recognise good work.

“I think there’s a high correlation between creative work and effective work and there are various studies supporting that,” he added.

In response to criticism that creative agencies gear work towards winning awards, Ferrier said such tactics will only lead to an agency’s demise.

“I think if agencies have the mentality of quick wins they’ll die, and I don’t think many do anymore, the more agencies apply themselves to solving business problems, the more successful they’ll be.”

For Ferrier, the awards are especially important to creatives, who can often be “insecure”.

“A lot of creative people are very sensitive people, sensitive people are often insecure and do well with praise, so awarding medals and trophies is a nice way of having external recognition.”

In June 2017, Ferrier launched creative agency Thinkerbell with ex-Cummins&Parters creatives, Jim Ingram and Ben Couzens, bringing on former OMD managing director Margie Reed as managing partner in October.

Just two months after launching, PwC announced a strategic investment in the agency, a move which echoed a recent trend in adland of consultancies stepping into the creative space.

Unlike deals made by competitors, where consultancies have bought agencies in their entirety, Thinkerbell’s affiliation with PwC is a little more fluid.

Ferrier describes the relationship as “friends with benefits”.

“They were an early investor in the business and it’s been mutually beneficial, we’ve had lots of joint projects we’ve been working on together and it’s been interesting to know each other’s businesses.”

Asked whether Thinkerbell could one day move into the media buying space, Ferrier said he was all for it.

“When Margie Reed came on board as managing partner she brought with her a wealth of understanding of media, and we’d be crazy not to embrace that.

“There’s an artificial dichotomy between creative and media set up by holding companies which is completely crazy, and so anything we can do to break that down we’re all for.”

Speaking about the divide between creative and media, Ferrier argued it was high-time to ‘put the toothpaste back in the tube’.

“I think everyone’s realised that it wasn’t great for the industry to separate it. It’s made the industry operate less efficiently.

“I can’t imagine anyone saying it’s a good thing to keep them separate.”

“They might have to say that to appease their holding company bosses, but I don’t think anyone really thinks it’s a good idea,” he added.

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