I’ve dabbled on the Internet since it was command line only, before the emergence of the web.
In 2007, I coded (from scratch) a fully-functional e-commerce web site after teaching myself what I didn’t already know about dynamic web sites.
And it worked!
Today, dallasmodelworks.com has customers all over the globe.
In addition to the e-commerce aspect, I also created a series of online apps, tools, and utilities that DMW Members can use for free.
What I’ve learned about the digital world by jumping in with both feet far surpasses anything I could have picked up within an agency.
But adland never lets go.
In 2009, I was recruited to lead a new business pitch (as acting ECD) for Grey Toronto. We won.
Since then, I have won new business for many other agencies as well as doing other creative consultation for agencies and clients.
55 Minutes Past 11: Clash lyric, harbinger of Armageddon, and a not-so-subtle recognition that in adland, there is never enough time.
For this child of the Great White North, remembering to leave the u out of colour was going to be the least of my concerns.
New methods validated when B2B account LCN not only gets excellent business results but is recognised by Communication Arts.
Introducing simple yet highly impactful changes to the otherwise typical way the agency (or any agency) operates makes all the difference in the world.
Rob Guenette – a client whose personal advertising reel was better than that of most agencies – was asked to leave his position as Global VP Marketing at Molson to turn the small, ailing agency Wolf Toronto into a creative hot shop.
Rob said he’d do it – if he could find the right creative team. Guess who that turned out to be?
We worked hard and got a dying agency out of the red with nothing but sunshine ahead.
But – why does there always have to be a but? – Flavour was owned by a larger entity. And when Wolf Group failed and bankrupted itself on 30 January 2004, they took us down with them.
As I said to the staff at the time, “We will forever be like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. We never lost an account. We won new business. We won lots of awards and we only ever had one staff member leave the agency. Like Dean and Monroe, we died young and beautiful.”
TOP 3 THINGS I LEARNED
We had top-notch production people, account people we would take on stage with us when it was time to accept Gold (because if not for their efforts we wouldn’t be there) and a creative department so loaded with talent that there were no jealousies; only friendly competition, a kind of “Oh crap, look at how good what they did is – we’ve got to do something better!” vibe.
OTHER ACCOUNTS I POKED AT
And then, in November 2001, a new opportunity arose.
Hired to be the lead creative team on Bank of Montreal, an account that had started to do some interesting work.
Unhappily, BMO was the agency’s only major account – and pretty much went dormant shortly after we joined.
Happily, the one campaign we did execute whilst at V&B got radio station 97.3 FM its “best ratings performance in the station's history.”
Unhappily, agencies tend to not like paying for people with nothing to do.
Happily, we now had BBDO and Ogilvy pursuing us…
TOP 3 KEY ACCOUNTS
Indeed, there was just one minor new business pitch in our entire time there.
We weren’t looking to move agencies but suddenly we found ourselves pursued by Roche Macaulay & Partners, Y&R and Vickers & Benson…
ACCOUNTS DILIGENTLY TOILED UPON
Courted by JWT, I finally succumb to their charms after longtime agency CD Bill Durnan leaves the agency to start his own shop…
Happily, the months spent in my basement working on my book were not spent in vain...
Volkswagen 78 Point Inspection – originally intended to run just once – does so well in market that VW runs it for three years. It is also picked up for use in the US.
So why was VW a blessing and a curse? Because it was a fantastic experience – and it's hard to not compare the accounts that followed.
If all clients knew their stuff like the people at Volkswagen knew their stuff, adland would be much closer to reaching its full potential than it is today.
And if not for an ill-advised merger that rotted the agency from the inside, my partner Elspeth Lynn and I would not have left DDB for MacLaren…