Former ADMA 30Below Winner Reminisces On Trip Around New York Agencies

Former ADMA 30Below Winner Reminisces On Trip Around New York Agencies
SHARE
THIS



With entries now open for this year’s ADMA 30Below competition, last year’s Young Marketer of the Year, Allister Hercus (pictured left above), shares his thoughts on the agencies he visited during his prize winning trip to New York City.

Working as a strategist in a media agency, I often find it difficult to describe my job to people who aren’t in the industry. I’ll usually just say, “I work in advertising” and hope they don’t ask any more questions. But they always have one question: “Is it anything like Mad Men?” I’ll usually respond with “In more ways than you might expect”, to make my job sound mysterious.

Having been awarded ADMA’s Young Marketer Of The Year in 2014, I was fortunate enough to be sent over to NYC to spend five days with five different agencies. This was my chance to see if this ‘Mad Men’ thing was still a thing.

Here’s what struck me:

Google

Not exactly an ‘agency’, but certainly one that is now competing with conventional media and creative agencies. Beyond the obvious free food and scooters, I was truly fascinated by the way this place works. Each team seemed to work on projects commissioned by themselves. Their challenge is to gain interest and critical mass within the business to see their ideas to fruition. These projects don’t tend to be commercially driven, which I guess you can afford to do when you’re sitting on such a strong revenue engine. I got the impression that this model is as frustrating [for some] as it is liberating.

Ogilvy

In one sense, what you might expect. A giant cube in Hell’s Kitchen full of trendy twenty somethings. We shadowed two creative teams for the day as they chopped together a creds video, and then a multi-million dollar TVC. The fantastic budgets and resources that these guys work with were mind-boggling. It makes our operations back in Australia feel like a start-up in our mate’s garage.

RG/A

As you walk in, the first thing they will point out to you is their Oscar sitting amongst their zoo of gold lions. Having built their business originally on film and web production, they have chiselled out a unique niche in the industry. We spent a lot of time learning about their start-up incubation initiative. As cool as it was, I couldn’t help but wonder if it if was all just for the PR. Worthwhile nonetheless? Of course!

Anomaly

A quaint little agency [by New York standards] in the heart of Soho. What struck me about Anomaly was their business model. Their agency was built on creating I.P., which makes for some interesting revenue opportunities. But beyond that, they have enough confidence in the quality of their creative product that they don’t charge on a head-hour model. Instead they prefer to be remunerated with performance bonuses. In today’s advertising landscape this sounds risky to me, so I was impressed that they were making it work.

Merkle

I hadn’t heard of them either. ‘A performance marketing agency’, these guys were very different from anything else we had seen during the week. In a giant building near Columbus Circle, this place had a much more corporate vibe. You got the sense that whatever these guys were doing, they were doing really well at it. Merkle is leading the way in dynamic optimised creative, essentially writing the rulebook on how to build and deliver personalised messaging at scale. It was a fitting end to our agency tours, and probably the one that painted the clearest picture of the future of the industry. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this future.

Did I find any remnants of the Mad Men era in New York? There was certainly a distinct lack of huge egos, blatant sexism, and readily available hard liquor. Though one thing that remains is the value and celebration of big ideas. These are still, and always will be at the heart of the industry, no matter what country you’re in.

Thanks to ADMA for the opportunity.

Image: ADMA Young Marketer Allister Hercus (left) and Young Creative Brendan Graham enjoyed their time in New York City.

To learn more about or enter the competition, visit http://www.30below.com.au/awards/

Please login with linkedin to comment

Flagship Digital

Latest News

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom
  • Technology

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom

Twitter has just experienced its fastest growth in revenue since 2014, with the social media platform benefiting from increased interest from advertisers. Revenue was up 74 per cent YoY, according to the company’s Q2 results, reaching $US1.19 billion ($1.6 billion) from $US683.4 million ($925 million) 12 months ago. The strong results came in the same […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey

Wild Turkey has announced the launch of its new global creative campaign and platform, ‘Trust Your Spirit’, featuring the brand’s creative director and spokesperson, Matthew McConaughey. The global campaign and platform ‘Trust Your Spirit’ is to encourage people to be bold, unapologetically themselves, and stay true to who they are. The global tagline and ethos […]

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign

Telecommunications company Optus has announced it will launch the world’s first TikTok sign-language activated filter. Featuring Optus ambassador Ian Thorpe, Optus will unveil a branded effect that shows TikTok users how to say key phrases in Auslan sign language, including ‘How are you?’ and ‘It starts with Yes’, through the hashtag challenge #SignYes. Optus will […]

Heckler Appoints Charu Menon To Partner
  • Advertising
  • Media

Heckler Appoints Charu Menon To Partner

Heckler has announced the promotion of Charu Menon to Partner, Singapore, making her the first female member of the Board.

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF
  • Campaigns

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF

Asia Pacific’s leading provider of vehicle parts, accessories, equipment, service and solutions, Bapcor will launch its latest campaign, ‘The unseen parts of every Australian journey’ this weekend.

Professional microphone in radio studio
  • Advertising
  • Media

Podsight’s Benchmark Report Shows Podcast Advertising More Effective Than Other Digital Channels

Podsights has revealed new insights into the effectiveness of advertising in podcasts, tracking global and Australian podcast advertising trends. This is the first Australian report to be published since ARN partnered with Podsights to set the standard for best-in-class podcast advertising measurement. The report includes additional analysis and follows a series of Measurement Masterclasses held for […]

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life
  • Campaigns

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life

NGEN’s 2021 charity cup has raised over $175,000 for UnLtd charity partner Gotcha4Life. Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation raising awareness and funding to provide educational workshops and innovative programs that build mental fitness in individuals and communities. While Sydney and Brisbane completed the Charity Cup in June, before Covid restrictions hit, the final leg in […]

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge
  • Campaigns

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge

Australian tech incubator Cicada Innovations and Biennale of Sydney are launching the ‘New & Sustainable Materials Challenge,’ in an effort to create a more sustainable future. The works of chosen material-makers will be showcased to millions of Biennale audiences, exhibition partners, and exhibition makers globally. The Challenge is open to any Australian and UK startups, […]