new creative shops

Yesterday, Leigh and I attended New Kids on the Block - Perspectives from hot new creative shops from home and abroad, as part of Advertising Week in NYC. The panel of speakers included Chief Creative Officers and business development gurus from Taxi, Anomaly and Strawberry Frog. The panel was moderated by Andrew Jaffe, Author and past Editorial Director for Adweek Magazine.

We viewed some truly wonderful creative work. These agencies have become legendary in our industry, as they're seen as new business models - small firms who are doing big business. These are the agencies that have done the work you've seen for Mini, Dasani, Nike, Heineken, and other clients who continually grace the pages of Communication Arts.

The most entertaining moments for me came from Paul Lavoie, CCO of Taxi. Paul's an extremely talented storyteller, with a charisma that steals the show and undoubtedly wins his firm clients. He spoke about the value of being small, with a fantastic analogy - the restaurant business. He compared the big agencies to cafeterias, and the small agencies to an independently owned restaurant. The indie shop strives to make every dish (or project) an outstanding creation. The cafeteria has a few samplings of outstanding work, but buried in a sea of mediocrity.

All firms have a great track record of being media agnostic - and keeping the creative palette open for what makes the most sense for their message. This is a philosophy that our firm shares as well.

There were some great audience questions, and panel discussions. Overall, a worthwhile event.

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