“Ad Agency” – What Does That Even Mean?

Amanda Florence writes about Macleay’s first AdSpeaks for 2015 with Andy Wright, one of the founders of ‘For The People‘. Andy posed the question, “What would an agency model look like if you could start from scratch?”


Specialising in start-ups, recently launched branding and strategy agency, For The People, didn’t run with the typical ad agency model of hierarchy, structure and processes. They didn’t bother looking side-to-side at their competitors. Instead, they kept the focus on the consumer experience. Andy Wright points out, “The art of communication has been lost along the way and many agencies spend their energy asking ‘What are the competitors doing?'”


Advertising is often perceived as being romantically creative but it also gives the opportunity to create work that is “blockbusting, humorous, famous, award winning and contextually magical.” At best, it should produce a campaign that incorporates its surrounding environment and makes the viewer smile, laugh or act!


Traditionally, medium to large agencies followed old-school hierarchy and workflow processes to get the job done. Does this infrastructure nurture creative ideas?

It can aid in understanding how to do things but it can also make you feel like a autonomous robot. How do you avoid feeling this way? Try to always keep the end goal (a tangible result in the hands of the consumer) in mind and avoid ticking the boxes for the sake of ticking boxes.


Increasingly, the agency structure is beginning to flatline and we can’t expect it to keep going. This is a reflection of start-up culture, where there are no traditional business models. Think of them more as tribes or families. If they dream it, they build it and without the instructions. Passionate, crazy people usually helm these start-ups and they are solely focussed on whom they are delivering their product or service to – the consumer. Their aim is to create amazing consumer experiences, without regard for rules or boundaries. Their path isn’t traditional, these entrepreneurs dive down the “rabbit holes” and their business grows exponentially.

IMG_2772In turn, they require agencies that can match their need for speed, agility, parallel partnership and flexibility. They want content released frequently, more so in the digital world, instead of unveiling one expensive full campaign every few months.


For The People, addresses this trend in start-up culture and looks to disrupting the agency model for the sake of speed and creativity. It could be an exciting future for those willing to follow their lead.

For more info about Andy Wright and “For The People” click here.

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