Agencies are judged by their award show hauls. Evidence is all around us. Just look at how much your agency spends to enter the back-slapping contests. Or read the industry press.
Here’s a lede from a source I respect—Epica Awards:
Until recently, Foote, Cone and Belding felt like a fairly discreet agency, doing solid work for worthwhile clients. But this year FCB rocketed into the headlines, notably winning 51 Lions at Cannes, including its first-ever Titanium Grand Prix. That’s more metal than in its 146-year history. It followed that up with 32 Clios.
Epica is an award show.
Epic self-congratulation aside, the process that FCB uses to create better work is worth noting.
Epica. Do you have a way of benchmarking creative work so everyone is on the same page globally?
Susan Credle: When he was at Leo Burnett, Michael Conrad created “7plus”, a 10-point numerical scale to judge creativity. At the time I was shocked that a numerical tool was being used in a creative department. Later I saw it was a useful way of talking about work that wasn’t subjective and ego-driven: “I like it – I don’t like it.” But I thought one to ten was too many and that the points were too nuanced. So we have something called the “456” scale.
- 1 is “damaging”.
- 2 is “invisible”, which is work weakened by fear and over-testing.
- 3 is “noticed”, which is day-to-day work and may activate the client’s business a little.
- 4 is “provocative”, which gets your attention; it’s something you want to share.
- 5 “creates behavior”. Can we create a provocative idea that gets people involved? For example by giving them a way to play with the brand, like the “Whopper Detour”.
- 6 is “a never finished idea”, which our bespoke way of saying platform-building ideas.
But it’s not 4, 5 or 6. It’s a combination. On our best day, if we do provocative work that creates behavior on a never-finished platform, not only will we have a great relationship with our clients, build businesses and brands and have the best talent, we will also help put the industry back in an incredibly interesting place.
Go Back To Africa – Grand Prix Winner at Cannes