After 15 months on the job as Wieden + Kennedy’s new digital marketing maven, Colleen DeCourcy, has been named partner at the Portland-based global agency.
According to Adweek, each of the 11 W+K partners has an equity stake in the independent agency and helps shape its priorities.
One of DeCourcy’s priorities coming in to the agency was to avoid being labeled as the “digital chick.” Given that W+K is the world’s best TV shop, I can see how this might be a concern.
Can you imagine being the best at what you do, but getting too little respect from colleagues who can’t help but see you as “other?” Speaking for myself, it would annoy me to no end but also propel me forward.
Traditional creative directors at W+K and elsewhere want to see your reel, and they want to be made jealous by its contents. Which is why I find DeCourcy’s comments related to her new partner status interesting.
“There’s no theory of anything. That means jack shit in this place,” DeCourcy said. “You make stuff or you don’t. What you do makes other people’s work better or it doesn’t. So, really it wasn’t about territory, decks, procedures or getting collusion.”
Asked about her goals moving forward, DeCourcy paused for a moment and replied: “We are in this place where we’re kind of questioning what’s going on with the industry. It’s not about getting more digital. It’s not about getting more social. It’s not about solving problems. It’s just, when did this industry get so boring?”
To recap, you either make interesting stuff or you don’t work at Wieden. Of course, this is rather simplistic, isn’t it? What interesting stuff do you make or not make? Interesting stuff that’s going to be on TV? Or interesting stuff that’s going to run only on YouTube? Like it or not, there is a difference and one is considerably more favorable to a great number of creatives hungry for recognition, promotions and money.
How long TV will remain on top of this pyramid is hard to say. We can examine the dollars spent and the hours watched, but the whole story isn’t found in the data. When we begin to see digital campaigns with a TV element, we can talk about a seismic shift in agency culture. For now, DeCourcy and her fellow pioneers go boldly where non-makers fear to tread.
Previously on AdPulp: The Marketing Opportunity In Social Pales When Compared To Spreading An Idea Virus