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New Year’s Revolution

First published by TOB in 2012


‘Evolve or die’ was the mantra this time last year. Right now I think it’s more like ‘revolt or die’.

Now, I’ve never been one to over dramatise, but (deep breath) we are all teetering on the edge of the abyss, and from where I’m standing I can see more and more people falling in. It’s like Dante’s Inferno or the climax of Ghostbusters.

But it is that serious. In 20 odd years (or two recessions) I’ve not seen our industry in a state of collapse like this, and it is symptomatic of how the rest of the market is suffering. From our position as ‘business partner’ to our colleagues, clients and prospects we see the challenges that everyone are facing.

It’s probably the toughest time to be in an agency ever. No sympathy required, as an industry we enjoyed our boom years and now we must cope with the lean times and help our clients do the same.

Enough doom and gloom. How are we going to get out of this?

Let’s just put the macroeconomic picture to one side for a moment. Not ignore it, just focus on things closer to home, things we can directly affect, which little by little will help the bigger picture. Remember an economy is made up of people, and if we all change a little then it will make a lot of difference.

We are all creative people………stop, don’t say it, it’s a small ‘c’, if we didn’t understand creativity then we wouldn’t be engaged in this business of marketing. It doesn’t need to be in the job title, we all have a responsibility for creativity whether though design or clever thinking.

As agencies we should harness that creativity and look at what we do, how we do it and make change happen. First in our own businesses, then for our clients, and maybe, just maybe we can get through this.

If the last four or so years has taught us nothing it is that this state of change is permanent, it is not going away. To merely evolve is not enough, we must fundamentally examine every element of what we do and seek a better way of doing it. There might not be one, but by looking deeply into our processes we will find new ways to work, new ways to engage, new ways to create things.

Our economy, our country even, was built on manufacture right from the Stone Age, through the industrial revolution and beyond.

Our greatest export now is our creativity so whilst we stand on the edge of that abyss, I believe this is the greatest time to be in the creative industry and it also offers us the greatest opportunity we will ever have.

It’s up to us whether we choose to take it or not.

So this time the revolution will most definitely not be televised, it will be on iphone, ipad, pc and mac alike and it will be happening in front of your very eyes, if you’re not careful.


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