Yesterday you may have read this AdWeek piece on Spark Plug, Y&R’s internal/external initiative to “embrace innovation in the digital space.” It’s a progressive idea, bringing outside companies inside the four walls of our agency. I’ve had the opportunity to play a role in this project, acting as a sort of liaison between the outside companies and Y&R and the Y&R account teams. As you can imagine, such a proposition isn’t necessarily an easy thing to pull off. It’s new and different and scary for some (because it’s new and different), but at the heart of it, it’s an acknowledgement that things move quickly and providing new, innovative ideas to our clients is our number one priority.
As Y&R’s global CEO, David Sable, says in the article, [advertising has] “always been an innovative industry. It’s [all about] understanding that that’s in the industry’s DNA.” Today, innovation is coming at us faster than ever. The role of the agency partner is evolving and only those agencies that can adapt to, and harness, innovation will have a future.
The agency’s role then becomes how to understand these innovations and marry them to creative storytelling through the filter of the client’s brand. No easy task and not something that a small, specialized agency, no matter how good at their discipline, is likely to be able to do.