Speed, Guts and Swagger (Good Name for a New Agency)

Tom Sullivan, a principal at MDC Partners-owned shop Vitro in San Diego, thinks ad pros could learn a thing or two from political hacks. Writing in Ad Age, Sullivan argues:

The truth is that agencies and brands often miss opportunities to attack. Elections are a good reminder to agencies that drawing direct comparisons can work. For so many challenger brands, there’s value in going right after the big guy.

I keep coming back to these same concepts: speed, guts and swagger…

If your next branding campaign was win or go home, do you think you might take a few pages from the political playbook?

Speed, guts and swagger are things I associate with the best players in the NFL. And I have to admit, it’s odd to me that ad people would need this kind of encouragement. There’s already plenty of fast-moving show offs running meetings in leathery conference rooms at this very moment. What there’s not an abundance of is guts, and integrity.

There are a few clients willing to tell their agency that their work is shit, but how many agency people do you know willing to tell a client that their product, marketing and process is shit?

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.