Paul Yole AdFest Diary Day 2 - A message to agency CEOs and CFOs: Double your spending

Yole-IMG_5008.jpgPaul Yole is a retired planner who has covered awards shows for CB for over 10 years. This year he shares some observations from the 20th anniversary edition of Adfest.

As soon as I saw the title, "Paul Yole's Adfest Diary, day one" I realised there was an implicit promise of a daily update.

Sorry about that.

However, I do now have something I'd like to share.

And it is aimed fairly and squarely at agency heads.
BBDO Asia chief Jean-Paul Burge opened his Adfest talk with a reference to Michael Farmer's excellent and provocative book, Madison Avenue Manslaughter.

Farmer points out that agencies today compared to only ten years ago are doing twice the work for half the money.

Now, the response from many agency heads has been understandably to tighten their belts.

While that makes sense, I have another suggestion.

Instead of cutting your training budgets, you should double them.

The only thing that will save agencies is their unique ability for creative ideas.

And that requires an investment in people, especially young people.

So don't ask them to work harder, ask them to work less.

Subscribe to Contagious and The Gunn Report, where they will be able to see the latest great work to inspire them. And make them read up.

Send them to festivals like Adfest where they can learn, be inspired and also get to know some really clever people.

Immerse them in excellence.

Run training courses.

And don't cut your award entries, increase them.

All of this will not just send a signal about doing great work that gets a stronger ROI for clients, it will equip your people with the skills and motivation to apply their talent to the benefit of everyone.

The latest study from the IPA shows that creatively awarded work is six times more effective at building market share . Six times!

So creativity should be at the core of your business strategy.

Paul Kemp-Robertson talked about Contagious' four pillars - embrace change, prioritize purpose, disrupt process and execute bravely.

Festivals like Adfest have plenty of this. We should use the competitive nature of award shows to raise our own standards.

So find the time to review the work that will help you take a fresh look at your own creative problems. A few that have been showcased in the seminars here include Axe 'Find Your Magic', the Bank of Aland 'Carbon Footprint Index', DB Export Beer Bottle Sand Machine, YMCA Playnasium and Campbell's Soup Tube.

IMG_5005 (1).jpgLook them up, and look at the work that has just won a Lotus.

It's not easy to sell or buy highly creative work, because as a Cornell study showed those are the ideas that stimulate the part of our brain that induces poison, vomit and agony. Hat tip to Paul Kemp-Robertson for that one.

It may not be easy but it will be worth it.

In any case, I have yet to read a study that shows the downfall of a company was due to investing in training and personal development.

Leave a comment