Make A Place For Product Development In Your Portfolio

We all know how clients can up and split. Well, the same is true for new and ambitious groups lodged within an old school New York agency.
According to Ad Age, McCann Worldgroup is launching a tech unit called Split to create a new revenue stream for holding company Interpublic Group of Cos.

Split is an all-in-one intellectual-property incubator, developer and digital creative shop; the 30-person global staff includes developers, infrastructure and security specialists, graphic artists, 3-D animators and creatives. The shop is equipped for digital production alongside McCann, and it can also develop proprietary software and products for its own projects. The idea is to build the agency’s own suite of creative tech products born from client problems or an entrepreneurial idea from anywhere in the agency network.
McCann Chief Information Officer Greg Smith, who founded and heads Split, says, “We have to start thinking like a software company.”

Is that what’s going on at your agency? Are you thinking like a software company?
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get into advertising to think like a software company. However, I do place immense value on the ability to build things. If that’s what thinking like a software company means, I’m good with it, because we do need to build things, things like companies and their brands. If the kinetic energy around these core activities happen to also spur ideas that lead the building of our own products and businesses, all the better.



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.