Why Great Agencies Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is…

Why Great Agencies Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is…

As featured in The Drum. By Tom Ewing, Account Director


The agency spectrum can often look in danger of becoming a vast expanse of homogeneity, as this particular Twitter post illustrates pretty well.

This is, of course, unavoidable to a certain extent when the vast majority of clients have a range of similar wants and needs – there are only so many ways to skin a cat and no-one has (as yet) managed to reinvent the wheel in the world of marketing services. However, surprisingly for an industry that is built on creativity, there are very few who excel in standing out from the crowd and who do things that are truly unique and intriguing.

The best in their field are those who go the extra mile to cement their reputation as an innovator and leader of the pack. Whether your proposition revolves around technical innovation, cost effectiveness or out and out creativity, there is always more that you can do beyond client work to add weight to your claims and to bolster your repertoire of experiences.

As the current fad for storytelling in marketing proves, people can be counted on to buy into a good tale and it could be that extra little something that you do outside of client projects that gets you across the line and on to those fabled pitch lists. Sideline creative projects and in-house endeavours done purely for the love (or the fame) are a fantastic way to stimulate your team, to provide evidence of your passion and to differentiate yourself from the 1000 other agencies who share your ‘unique’ way of working.

Here are 5 agencies who (we think) go above and beyond their peers, who put themselves out there and who spin a good yarn:

PD3 / Grimm Tales
A creative agency who put their money where their mouth is by staging an immersive theatre experience, the critically acclaimed Grimm Tales.

Digital Annexe / DA University
Their yearly University event, attended by brands and agencies alike, is a hotspot for predicting the future of digital and experimenting with the latest technologies.

Adaptive Lab / Bye Bye Banks
A compelling proposition which is particularly of the moment – their recent mobile banking benchmarking study is causing quite a stir in the world of banking, keep an eye out for their book which looks at a similar subject matter.

Just So / Black Cab Sessions
The Hoxton based video content agency created their own entertainment platform, Black Cab Sessions, which grew a huge organic fan-base and was picked up by Channel 4 and the BBC.

Mint Digital
An agency who complement their client work by taking their own digital products and services to market. Photobox bought their Stickygram service in 2013.