So, I attended the Mirren New Business conference last week. It's an industry event for creative agencies, and it attracts the top players both as speakers and attendees. There was a lot of talent, a lot of big personalities and a lot of slides.
And if you think that a creative agency's slides are an indication of the agency itself, well...here were some highlights...
The Good, The Bad and the Cocky
Jordan Zimmerman is loud, cocky and owns one of the most successful advertising agencies in the world. That's him below, and that was one of his slides in which he explained how his competitors' indifference to client bottom lines has allowed him to make millions of dollars and buy expensive homes. You can watch his talk here.
And then there was one of the hot young agencies of the last decade, Droga5. Represented by Chief Creative Office Ted Royer and New Business Director Chris Wollen, Droga5 presented...well, I don't really remember a thing they talked about. Some case studies and something about solving business problems, but this was one of their slides below. If one wants to equate art and copy with slide design and content, then...i think both Peggy Olsen and Sal ordered one too many martinis at lunch today. And not to pile on, but at one point they actually used the phrase, "This slide is meant to say..."
But then there was Global Creative Officer Nick Law from powerhouse R/GA. He gave an engaging talk centered on the evolution of advertising to today's participatory landscape. He warned of falling into the "It's all about storytelling" meme and reinserted technical systems back into the equation. His slides were incredibly simple, used only shades of red (for some reason, people feel they need to avoid red in presentations) and at the end of the day required next to no design skills to create—just perhaps a design mindset. Below is my favorite which was the centerpiece of his talk.
Each of the above speakers showed their agency's work in fancy video case studies and commercials. But it was the slides that seemed to tell me the most about the culture and approach of each agency. If I was looking to hire an advertising agency, whose business card would I have collected at the conference based solely on their slides? If I was a CFO, I'd run after Zimmerman. If I was a thoughtful and design-centered CMO, I'd want to talk to R/GA. And Droga5? Um...have they put the coffee and cookies out yet?