Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sweet Shandy

Everyone loves the sweet/tart refreshing flavor of lemonade.

Be it in the form of a Shandy or a Tom Collins, a Panaché or a Clara. Straight up yellow or dyed the color pink with a slice of lemon on the side.

Lemonade is the quintessential drink of summer and a metaphor of positive thinking.

How many millions of children started lemonade stands to make money in the summer months?

The great entrepreneur Dale Carnegie graced us with the great American quote -
"When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade."

Make Lemonade.

What a wonderfully simple answer to a horribly difficult question.

Make Lemonade!

In a recent New York Times article Claire Cain Miller wrote about how BBH started a new business around a blog about Michele Obama.

Miller wrote "Mrs. O and Zag (BBH) are part of a business model transformation in the advertising industry. Agencies are parlaying their expertise in marketing the brands of other companies into creating and marketing their own."

See the original article here <---

As producers in this industry, this is the type of mindset and creativity we must bring to our teams. It is the ability to constantly produce ideas that will help our studios grow and evolve into the new agency model.

Interactive producers must have the ability to think outside of the traditional client/vendor relationship. To evaluate what the internal strengths are within the company and try to find a way to monetize it.

We need to stop waiting for those RFPs to magically appear in our inbox and to create something that will translate into good work, revenue and great press.

My hat goes off to BBH and Anomaly, two agencies that are not going to simply sit back and wait for the recession to subside but are proactive in creating new business from within.

Recognizing the tremendous potential that already exists right under your nose is in my opinion one of the new roles of the interactive producer.

To mine ideas and present them to upper management for consideration. To communicate and stimulate the team to think both inward and outward.

If an internal designer or developer has a great idea for say a new iPhone app perhaps your company is in a position to fund that development and get that app out to the world. To help develop it as well as promote it.

Producers should not only be managing the daily ins and outs of client work but should also help to create micro-businesses to help to make up for the slower economy or to simply have a great case study of a successful launch that will help to be a catalyst for other clients to follow the same route.

Perhaps the endeavor will only make the studio enough money to pay for what you put into it, but the press it gets and the success of the idea will make you and your studio a proactive leader in the development of new, innovative, proven ideas.

Executing an internal project of this nature is a great way to instill confidence and experience within the studio/agency to then go out and be more educated and experienced resources for your clients.

It is also a great way to sell through an idea to a client that may not have resonated as well if it had not already been done.

The world is our laboratory and what better way to test and refine our "great ideas" than to put them out there and see how the public responds.

The web gives us a stage that is both vast with real time users and extremely inexpensive to test against. It is both the testing ground and the battle field at the same time.

So the next time your agency/studio is in a down period why not put all those creative minds together and think about how you can make some delicious lemonade out of the lemons the economy doles out.

1 comment:

  1. BBH has had my eye for the last year or so. I am super impressed by the way they seem to be approaching the next five years or so.