When Mother launched in London all that time ago its window on St John’s Street in Farringdon featured a vintage caravan (can’t remember the exact significance of this except it was Mother-ish) and, one week, it had special ad offers plastered all over it, like “buy one get one free.”
Very alternative but, 21 years later, it finally seem to be becoming the industry norm.
We’ve had creative agencies rushing to open on-site quick turnaround studios at their clients (Unilever now has 30 of them with Oliver), the latest being WPP’s Wunderman with its new Wunderman Inside.
Now WPP media agency Mindshare, once thought to specialise in big budget, rather stately global clients, is opening what it calls a “fast turnaround, idea generation service” Mindshare 24. Meaning, presumably, that you get everything in a day.
CEO Nick Emery said he decided to launch the initiative after talking to clients and staff about how the agency could brainstorm ideas.
Emery (below) says: “We all started emailing each other and sharing ideas. In a couple of hours, the ideas were better than half the ideas we spent months on.”
Furthermore clients won’t have to pay for an idea if they don’t like it. Buy one gets lots free.
The new service will have “hubs” in London, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, Portland and New York although it won’t have its own staff. Presumably Mindshare employees will just be asked to speed up a bit.
Big agencies are very good at absorbing challengers, usually by buying them as they did with media independents when those denizens of the dark arts rocked the foundations of the big networks 30 or more years ago.
We’ve already seen their fightback against Oliver with on-site agencies and against other production independents like Tag with in-house operations.
Positioning themselves as Mr Speedy might bring the odd uncomfortable conversation though. What if Unilever (saving the pennies these days) phoned up Emery and said that they’d like their planning account (Mindshare’s flagship recent win) to go into cheap and cheerful Mindshare 24?