CS Presents – Agency 2020

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“Agencies are fighting the last Advertising war” – Brian Cooper

Down the red staircase to 146 Brick Lane’s studio basement, a periscope looking to the future of advertising agencies was presented to an audience of wide eyed young designers.

Creative Social selected five creative leaders to share how they are shaping and redefining the agency landscape for 2020. (And guys, it’s looking good.)

A running theme was diversity; agencies daring to be different.

Speaker, Shanice Mears emphasized that a diverse work place will create fresh and better work, allowing clients to be at the forefront of new trends. Mears, a 22 year old Dance graduate described her initial fears about breaking into the advertising industry;

“There’s no place for me, I’m a Dance graduate who loves hip-hop and wears her cap to the back”

The audience’s overwhelming reaction to her motivational presentation, proved that diversity really is key to creating a better future for design agencies.

Mears discussed the brands that are daring to be different and how that’s contributing to their ever-growing success; one example was Puma using Krept and Konan as ambassadors. The brand have cleverly caught onto acts that are making their way up to the top rather than latching onto already successful acts, predicting future trends to keep their brand fresh.

Later in the evening, Liz Jones from FortySix, discussed how her new agency is reshaping advertising to be a force for good. We are all fully aware that great responsibility comes with the job when working as an advertiser, however Jones is actively ensuring that her agency adheres to this by disrupting the old model and creating a new breed of agency.

In a world of Stormtroopers, Jones encouraged us to “Be a Jedi”, be different and be a force for good in our work.

The evening concluded with a strange but compelling analogy from Livity’s Sam Conniff.

Conniff excitedly suggested that in order to succeed, agencies need to draw inspiration from, erm, Pirates…

Pirates were highly successful organisations that stood for change, they rethought the way things were done, using excellent structures as well as long term innovation and economics.

“It’s better to be a Pirate than join the Navy” – Steve Jobs

This Jobs quote relates back to Liz Jones’ idea of ‘being a jedi’, proving diversity IS key to creating a better future for agencies in 2020.

Hearing from these five speakers has me really excited to graduate next year, confident that the industry I’ll be going into is in safe hands with these creative leaders, who are fully aware of what the future needs to look like and are working hard to ensure that happens.

This was the last Creative Social event of 2016, but keep an eye out for future events!

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