From A City Of Idealists Comes An Agency With Attitude

According to Ad Age, Shine Advertising of Madison, Wisconsin, could not simultaneously meet Bob Parson’s creative demands and live with themselves.

A little more than a month after winning the account, independent Shine Advertising has resigned, citing irreconcilable creative differences.
The shop also renounced responsibility for the GoDaddy work that will appear during the Super Bowl.

What might have Shine been thinking when they landed this account? Were they thinking that their unique powers of persuasion would move Parsons to a new place? It certainly looks that way.
Brands have DNA. DNA doesn’t change because a new agency is on the account. Yet, agency executives consistently make the error of believing they have the secret formula that will, in fact, allow for radical change. The arrogance of it all makes me recoil.
Speaking of arrogance, here’s a bit of copy from Shine’s website:

We hate advertising. Actually, we hate what the advertising industry has become. A river of mediocrity—her slopes, slippery—her current, swift. Think about it. When was the last time your agency brought you a big idea? Not just a great ad, but an idea that made your socks go up and down. Day to day, scores of agencies deliver safe, least common denominator thinking, all in the name of preserving the client-agency relationship. We’ve been there. We’ve done that. And we think it sucks (pardon our French).
So we did what everyone says they’re gonna do. We started an agency. A different kind of agency. A place where conventional thinking is challenged. A place where the idea is king. A place where advertising just might get born anew.

Shine doesn’t just want to alter the DNA of its clients’ brands, it wants to reinvent advertising. At one time I might have enjoyed the youthful enthusiasm in this copy. Now, I think it’s over-reaching, if not ridiculous.



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 at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.