Is your agency defined by your success or theirs?

Photo of Jordan Zimmerman
Date: 2011-02-08 16:58:17 // Categories: ROMI,
By: Jordan Zimmerman
Date: 2011-02-08 16:58:17 // Categories: ROMI,

I hear every agency talk about clients with pride. I hear them all say results matter. I don’t doubt that they want their clients to succeed, but I don’t see them willing to truly put their clients above themselves. Most think they are in the idea business. I think that is utter BS. We are in the results business; the ideas are just a means to an end. If there is no success, the idea means nothing. No matter what the research, the press, or anything else validates, all it truly confirms is that you better get it right next time or you face the crushing realities of business today. You can probably tell that I am not very popular in the award obsessed agency industry. You can also probably tell that I could care less, as long as we are valued and respected by our clients.

What really drives your agency?

We typically hate awards because they recognize the output of the creative work regardless of the outcome from that work. Concept is nothing without comp sales and transactional increase. Marketing is nothing without gains in market share. Writing only matters when there is black ink. The only awards we care about are those that celebrate effectiveness and results; like the AME awards, which recognizes work that has caused dramatic impact on the business, not just the brand. Proudly, Zimmerman’s work for Lane Bryant won the AME’s Platinum Trophy. The work was selected as the very best in North America. This announcement follows right on the heels of the same story being named as Brandweek’s No. 1 story of 2010.

The effort took the original plus-sized specialty store that lost its way and made them special again. It reminded consumers beauty has no size and everyone has the right to feel sexy in the skin they are in. When the networks rejected the ads because they were too provocative, we took on those mighty double standard networks that had no reservations approving Victoria’s Secret ads. This problem turned into the greatest opportunity to inspire society to stand with Lane Bryant. We touched a nerve and within days, the Lane Bryant debacle was featured on thousands of blogs and websites, averaged one Tweet every 30 seconds, and found our brand and cause on hundreds of programs including The Today Show, CNN, CBS News, HLN, and ET to name a few. In all, there was over $43 million in earned media and Lane Bryant has since seen the success of Facebook directly correlate with the accounting books. They are enjoying consideration lifts that normally would have taken decades and hundreds of millions of dollars to accomplish.

Take a look at what happened:

What can be learned from all of this?
It should educate us that great insight mixed with strong instinct can be quite powerful. Is your agency willing enough to street-fight for you?

It should remind us that there need not be compromise to creative output in the undeniable quest for creative outcome. Is your agency really obsessed enough with your goals?

It should inspire us to make sure we recognize the ever-changing landscape and social condition. Is your agency getting you up to speed?

If you see more room for growth with your brand, just call us. 24/7 (seriously)