Just Do It Differently

I like what Phil Johnson, CEO of PJA Advertising & Marketing, is saying about taking the ad game to the next level.

Having spent most of my career running an agency, I’m often mystified at how hard it is to move from one level to the next, whether that means adding more staff or winning bigger accounts.

Most agencies stay pretty much the same because they can’t quite believe they could win that national account, compete creatively with the best in the world, or join that elite one percent of agencies that write the rules instead of following them.

Johnson advises agency leadership to take responsibility for their shortcomings (whatever they might be), and to be ready and willing to do something different. Yes, it’s common sense, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth repeating.

Now let me ask, what might your agency’s leaders “do different” in order to usher in a new era at the shop (one that transcends mere survival)?



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.