At the beginning of lockdown, when worry became the new normal, I started a weekly habit of joining a couple of friends in the industry to commiserate: a zoom call to show and tell our personal crisis and the occasional good idea. No club, no members, no structure: if you were an indie and you wanted to join, you were in. It was a great reminder that in all this sudden loneliness of leaving our bustling office in Soho we were actually not alone: we were in this together. And since there is always someone to have it much worse than you – count your blessings.
Out of this habit came one of the most uplifting initiatives that our industry has seen: the Land Of Independents Campaign and Website. This week, with the help of the unbelievably good AND generous creative agency Creature (yes, please click here to see what they do) we – as one of 17 media indies launched this beautiful, ambitious and the first of its kind campaign. There is also a killer-website helping you navigate the Land Of Independents, developed by the amazing Above Digital (not that they need my support but hey)
I am proud: proud of the result, proud to be one of the initiators and proud that we pulled this off. The campaign is a fantastic reminder that this industry kicks ass, it is proof that indies are bringing something that no one else can and above all it is reason for optimism that it will continue to be independent agencies that will push this industry forward. Thank you, Covid-19!
I am looking for an anthropology student who will examine how this campaign overcame all odds of social behavior: imagine 17 (!) competing (!) agency (!) bosses (!) all used to a) people doing as they say; b) being who they are because of a distinct lack of shyness and opinion and c) boasting all day about how they have no ego…Imagine they would have to collectively agree on something as complex as an advertising campaign including a briefing, settling on a message, approving copy, committing to budgets, providing confidential information, volunteering their time, delivering according to a deadline, writing a press release, letting a core competitor present to their own people,…yup, we pulled it off. Independent media agencies rock. If you are not impressed, you don’t know this industry.
The secret to this – apart from Covid and being an indie – is the talent for collaboration. I have always believed that media folks are the most versatile, diplomatic and pragmatic people in all of marketing. Our very craft is bringing things together and standing back. It is no offense – inconceivable that 17 creative indies could pull this off. In all of adland, we are simply the most social beings. We are the best at making it happen against all odds. My non-existent ego got a bit bruised during this ride in learning that others are good at collaboration, too, but damn, I love this industry.