In catching up on RSS feeds and email over the weekend, I came across an announcement that Anomaly, one of the agencies that often gets referred to as an "agency of the future," has hired Kevin Lyons to be their design director. The key bits from the article:
Anomaly has appointed former Urban Outfitters CD Kevin Lyons to design director, to bring what agency co-founder Carl Johnson calls "real world perspective" to its design initiatives.The four-year-old agency has always touted its holistic approach to branding for clients and has undertaken its own product development and design projects, so Lyons' role is intended, says Johnson, to inject the shop with "the pragmatism of retail" that will root its entrepreneurial endeavors in the truths of the market.
"Anomaly needs creative people who understand brand development beyond communications," Johnson says. "[Lyons'] experience in the retail/apparel world will be valuable to a company with a financial stake in its work. He knows how product innovation provides customers value and the ultimate pressure of sales numbers, in an ad world unfamiliar with those concepts."
"I am the balance between creativity and the practical application of creativity," Lyons says. ...
Thought this quote in particular was very interesting:
"Anomaly needs creative people who understand brand development beyond communications."
As more and more advertising gets ignored, agencies have got to come up with better, more meaningful ways to help their clients reach and connect with people. Anomaly gets this. They believe in it at their core.
"... when a client comes in with an advertising problem, Anomaly addresses it more broadly as a business issue, analyzing everything from design to product development." Fast Company, March 2008
This cuts right to the heart of what I've maybe not been articulating so well by using the words "design thinking" in my previous posts. Maybe "design thinking" isn't the right term.
Maybe the title of the post should have been, "The Future of Advertising Is More Than Communications."
Anyway, I thought this was relevant to some of what I've been posting lately and was also interesting in regard to looking at what types of people "the agencies of the future" are hiring.
The Future of Advertising is Product Development
Posted by: Todd W. | May 12, 2008 at 08:55 PM
kind of amusing for lyons and anomaly to play up their counterculture schtick while working for Urban Outfitters who's owner Richard Hayne is one rank paleo-conservative who has supported characters like George Bush and Rick Santorum.
If Hayne passes the sniff test for clients - Who else would Lyons sell his creative services to?
Posted by: oppositionradio | May 12, 2008 at 08:56 PM
I saw this too Paul and wondered how Anomay gets clients to pay them for these services.
Both on a macro level, as in how do they get clients to agree to let Anomaly do a full-service check-up of all their marketing and design needs, a check-up that may overlap the domain of other vendors they have-- and also on a micro level, as in how do they charge their clients for things that don't have clear deliverables.
Be curious to know what the dynamics of their arrangements are.
Posted by: Alan Wolk (Toad) | May 12, 2008 at 09:07 PM
Yes, from hard experience, I learn that it is all well and good to innovate services, but it all comes back to which line item in a client's budget you fall into... and those line items are very efficient definitions of the little boxes we're struggling against. to follow that argument, the future of advertising actually lays within the hands of the marketers themselves.
Posted by: Dion Hughes | May 12, 2008 at 09:39 PM